Supplements - Vitamin D shortage

Well, thanks to a couple of recent high-profile press articles, which at the time, I thought were excellent, apparently there has been a “run” on Vitamin D3, and now I can’t get it.

I ran out last week, and couldn’t find any in Boots, which was a bit unusual, but not unprecedented. So ordered some online from Healthspan - along with some other bits and pieces as well.

Got suspicious when everything else arrived, but still no Vitamin D. Received a letter today, to say that they’ve run out, and are hoping to have a new delivery by next week, but would understand if I’d prefer my money back!

I haven’t been taking it for a week, and looks like I won’t be taking it for at least another week. Starting to get worried now, because I’ve no idea whether it’s doing anything to prevent relapses or not, but since I haven’t had one for ages, I don’t really want to change anything, just to test what happens! But this change has been forced on me.

I’m guessing those of you who order it from overseas are still OK, but there’s definitely a problem with UK stocks. :frowning:


Have you looked on Amazon? That’s where I got mine in October I think, so not sure what their stock will be like now.

Luisa x

Thanks Luisa,

Haven’t looked there (yet), but if Healthspan reckon to have it by next week, placing an Amazon order now probably isn’t going to get here a lot quicker, even if they have some.

If even major suppliers like Boots, and dedicated providers of supplements (Healthspan) have run out, I’m guessing the shortage must be quite general. Perhaps the factories literally haven’t made enough.

What a pain!

Amazon have it in stock and available for next day delivery, as do several Ebay sellers. So maybe its more to do with incompetent stock control from Boots and Healthspan.


l get mine from amazon - Healthy Origins - 360 softgels in 5.000ius or 10.000ius - they are so quick at delivering.

We should be buying shares in vitd3 - as more and more people are realising the importance of it. Now it has been found vitd3 deficiency to be connected to malacular degeneration. l shall put an order in now - as there will be a run of it.


I buy the same ones as Frances. They are delivered very quickly and are excellent value for money.

Karen x

Thanks folks,

Well, I managed to find some in Boots today. Not their own brand I always get, but a brand I’d never tried, or even heard of, before.

However, seems to be same stuff, at the same dose, and may even work out cheaper, too, as there are more in a pack. So I think I will look for this closely-guarded secret again in future. I noticed it wasn’t displayed at eye-level, like the Boots’ ones usually are. I only spotted it by chance, when I’d more-or-less given up, and begun browsing other things.

Tina - I always thought that supplements were a lot more expensive in high street shops? The Healthy Origins D3 supplements are £11 for 360 x 5,000iu pills (1 a day) on amazon. They also do lower doses (the 2,400iu are £14.95 for 360 (1 a day)). Are Boots/other things sold in Boots cheaper? If they are, I’ll be buying elsewhere in future!

Karen x


Tina - I always thought that supplements were a lot more expensive in high street shops? The Healthy Origins D3 supplements are £11 for 360 x 5,000iu pills (1 a day) on amazon. They also do lower doses (the 2,400iu are £14.95 for 360 (1 a day)). Are Boots/other things sold in Boots cheaper? If they are, I’ll be buying elsewhere in future!

Karen x

[/quote] Karen, I wouldn’t say they are a “lot” more expensive - but don’t forget I am not looking for the high doses you are on, so we’re probably not comparing like for like. Boots frequently have 3 for 2 offers, and I’m a regular shopper there, so also have a loyalty card. Judicious use of the offers and the card can result in things being quite cheap, or occasionally free. I will never buy anything only to get the offers, but if it’s all stuff I will use anyway - like regular supplements, there’s really no good argument not to do 3 for 2. It doesn’t usually have to be three identical things - you can mix and match, with the cheapest being free. Obviously, the trick is to pick a third item that is relatively high value - albeit less than the other two - to maximise what you’re getting for free. I.e. don’t choose two £10 items and one £2.50, but two £10 and one (ideally) £9.99. I’ve never really got the calculator out to work out exactly how it compares, overall. I only know it doesn’t break the bank, so as long as I’m not being ruined by my supplement intake, I don’t really care if it’s a fraction more expensive than it might be elsewhere. T. x


[/quote] Thanks Wendy - sorry, doing this from the iPad. It doesn’t seem to like quotes - bet it’s really screwed up the formatting. Sorry if this comes out all over the place, looking like I was drunk. It is snowing here now, but I’ve been out several times in the sun this week, but it’s very weak this time of year, so I don’t know if it will be enough. I thought I detected the first faint traces of colour in my cheeks yesterday, after an hour in February sun, so here’s hoping. I know you don’t need very much to make vitamin D. Now I’ve got hold of some, I’m debating whether to take extra vitamin D, to make up for the days I missed, or whether it doesn’t quite work like that. I took a couple as soon as I could rip the wrapping off! I’ve just realised that in my eagerness, I somehow forgot a dose of Baclofen, which probably explains why I’m stiff as a board right now. In bed at the mo. Dunno whether I can be bothered to go downstairs and take it late, or make do without 'til the next dose, now. Grrrrrr. T. x


I have found this discussion very interesting as I was prescribed Adcal D3 by my rhumy as I have Lupus and get them on prescription from my doctors. Since taking them I discovered that I also have MS and reading all the posts have realised just how important D3 has become. I always get mine from Boots and have never had a problem. Today I received a news letter from my local MS Branch and it has me wondering exactly what dosage of D3 I should be on. When I next see my rhumy and neuro I intend trying to find out what dosage I should be on. It’s very difficult for me to strike a balance as with Lupus you have to protect yourself from the light but with MS you need the D3. Any ideas for me in the interim please?

Janet x

Hi Janet.

My friend’s MS nurse told her 5,000iu a day.

I was very reluctant to start taking such a big dose so I did mine the (sort of) scientific way - I started on 1,200iu a day and got my bloods tested after a month. My levels were “normal” (according to the very out of date UK recommendations), but still much lower than recommended for MSers by the vitamindcouncil (and also by others, now). I worked out what I would need to get them there and upped my daily intake to 5,000iu. After a few months, I had my bloods tested again. Almost at the right level! So I now alternate 5,000iu and 10,000iu to make sure I got there, but no higher.

This obviously took quite a while though.

The vitamindcouncil and the vitamind3uk websites are full of information. I wasn’t wholly trustful in the beginning and spent quite a while researching D3 and MS - the evidence is growing, and convincing (to me at least).

Karen x

My wife had troubles more than once with her medication, when there was a shortage. The Boots pharmacy attached to our surgery had none - so we took the script back, and went less than a mile to another Boots attached to another surgery. Of course, they had it in stock. Same thing happened the next month. Another month and they have caught on - and started to ring round all their local branches. Some time later and it starts to happen again.

Yes, I can buy incompetent stock control as a reason.

But, there could be another: in a small pharmacy, the pharmacist is also the manager. So if there is no permanent pharmacist, what incentive does a locum pharmacist (who is maybe only there one day a week) have to get the stock sorted? Our branch seems to have a different locum working there each time we visit - but the same faces appear every two or three weeks. So maybe it is an HR problem as well.


I don’t think it’s incompetent stock control, because this is across more than one retailer, and more than one brand.

The letter I had this morning said that there has been unprecedented demand, but didn’t blame it explicitly on recent news articles - I drew that inference myself.

I can’t think of any other reason people would suddenly start bulk buying vitamin D3, when they haven’t usually.

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your advice, I will delve further as when they first did a vit D test the result came back as being low at 27. They said normal range 75 - 200nmoV1.

Another test was done after giving me a booster dose of Colecalciferol 50,000 units which I took twice a week.

Now after yet another blood test it is only 68.

I am a little concerned about it all.

Janet x

The doctors may not be terribly concerned with 68 vs a normal range starting at 75, but MSers supposedly need to keep their D3 levels at the high end. Do you know what your 68 consists of, i.e. how much D2 and how much D3? It’s D3 that’s the important one, but labs often add D2 & D3 together to just give a total vit D level.

Whatever it is, it sounds like you need to be taking a supplement. What you need I really can’t say, but I would guess that it’ll be more than your GP would suggest unless you can persuade him to give you another course of Cholecalciferol? Then you could switch to a maintenance dose?

There’s loads of stuff on the internet about D3 and MS - maybe it’ll help you to get your GP on side?

Good luck!

Karen x

I buy vit d3 from local health shop it is £19.70 for 60 iu5000 one a day, is this expensive?


Julsie, I think that is expensive - check out Amazon, I was about £30 for 360 iu10,000 capsules and free delivery x

Sorry, but yes, it’s very expensive. On the upside, you will have more money in your purse if you switch!

Check out healthy origins vitamin d3 5000iu on amazon and ebay. There are 360 in one bottle and it’s one a day. At the moment they are £11 on amazon and about £14 on ebay.

Karen x