Should you get your VITAMIN D levels tested?

Nutrition and vitamin levels after having Weight Loss Surgery (Gastric Sleeve)

After weight loss surgery, including a gastric sleeve, lap band or other obesity-treatment, nutrition can become a challenge. Your vitamin levels and nutritional intake after weight loss surgery needs to be monitored by your Surgeon and/or Medical Care Team.

What about Vitamin D levels after weight loss surgery (or Gastric Sleeve)?


The USA Institute of Medicine (IOM, now called the Health and Medicine Division) reviewd the evidence on vitamin D and calcium and updated the daily requirement intake recommendations for Vitamin D (DRIs).


New Recommendations for Vitamin D levels vs insufficient Vitamin D (2011, IOM)

The IOM report (snapshot) about Vitamin D Levels in 2011 – but research continues, expect new studies to shed more light on the healthiest levels of Vitamin D and supplemental intake.

Greatly INCREASED recommended daily intake levels of Vitamin D (RDA) to

  • 600 IU for people up to 70 years in age
  • 800 IU for people > age 70
  • Safe upper limit of daily Vitamin D intake was raised to 4,000 IU for most age groups

Previous RDI for Vitamin D prior to Institute of Medicine updates:

  • 200 IU per day to 400 IU up to 70 years and 600 IU for ages over 70
  • Safe upper limit was 2,000 IU

best-sources-vitamin-d-after-gastric-sleeve


Summary of Report: Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D (2011)

  • scientific evidence for additional BENEFITS of higher Vitamin D levels, other than improved bone health, was found to be unreliable and/or conflicting
  • the amount of vitamin D in the bloodstream is what’s important, not how much you’re consuming as uptake may be different
  • Vitamin D blood levels above 20 ng/ml are required to maintain bones
  • Higher Vitamin D levels in the blood (ranging from 30 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml) may or may not have potential other health benefits
  • Like other supplements, having too high Vitamin D levels or Vitamin D intake COULD be harmful (studies continue)

Which PATIENTS should get their VITAMIN D blood levels tested?

Routine tests for Vitamin D are recommended for the following patient groups:


Suggested reading/scientific resources:

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. 

9 Healthy Foods That Are High in Vitamin D (check with your SURGEON to be sure they’re on your post-op eating list)

Dietary Guidelines: Table A12-1.Vitamin D: Food Sources Ranked by Amounts of Vitamin D and Energy per Standard Food Portions and per 100 Grams of Foods

CM Page last updated February 4, 2019.