Rocking my B12 but it’s time to step up my Vitamin D3

Yesterday I had a second visit with my new doctor. She is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, not a medical doctor. I make this distinction because my experience with her has been incredibly fresh and new. She doesn’t medicate everything! She talks about food and diet in the same breath as medication options. We talk through when I should use medicine (thyroid) and when I should adjust my diet and take supplements like probiotics (skin issues).

I had blood work drawn last week – to monitor two recurring issues: hypothyroidism and low B12.

I began to have B12 issues about 20 months into my vegan diet, which I chronicled here:

Well over a year later my latest blood test results reflect my B12 at 871 (target range 211 – 946).  Working with my doctor in New York, we found what works for me – a daily 1,000 mcg B12 lozenge (and of course I love me some fortified nutritional yeast and tofu!).

My Vitamin D is another story, however.

vitamin d


It was low already but it’s dipped way low.  Normal range is considered 30 – 100. Mine is down to 12.6. Here’s the truth. I have been using a Calcium/Vitamin D combo supplement and I am not great about taking it.  Based on my personal blood test results my doctor is suggesting 600 IU Calcium and 5000 IU Vitamin D3 and you can’t find that magic combination in a single supplement.

My new doctor is very supportive of my veganism. When she told me to specifically take Vitamin D3 I explained that I understood most Vitamin D3 supplements to be non-vegan. [click to continue…]

JL Fields is co-author of the forthcoming Vegan for Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet and writes the blog JL goes Vegan.


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