Correction of vitamin D deficiency using sublingually administered vitamin D2 in a Crohn's disease patient with mal-absorption and a new ileostomy

Patrick McCullough, Robert Heaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be associated with many adverse health problems. Studies have shown that patients with Crohn's disease who have low vitamin D levels have a poorer quality of life than those with more adequate levels. It has also been shown that patients with mal-absorption problems have a difficult time achieving normal vitamin D levels in spite of aggressive supplementation, and that exposure to UVB radiation may be the most effective treatment option for these patients. We present a case in which 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were normalized within 2 weeks in a severely vitamin D deficient patient with Crohn's disease with mal-absorption and a new ileostomy, utilizing sublingually administered vitamin D2. A 58 year-old white female was admitted with a new ileostomy following partial bowel resection due to complications from Crohn's disease. She was found to be severely vitamin D deficient at the time of admission, with a level of 6.1. ng/ml on hospital day 3. Her treatment with vitamin D was delayed for a few days. She was initially treated with 5000 units of vitamin D3 orally twice a day for 3. days (days 7-10). After discussion with the patient and obtaining her consent, vitamin D3 was stopped, and she was then treated with a total of 8 doses of 50,000 units of vitamin D2 administered sublingually. She was given the first 3 doses on alternating days (days 11, 13, 15), and then 5 more doses on consecutive days (days 17-21). The rise in her 25-hydroxyvitamin D level in response to treatment with sublingual vitamin D2 was significant. On day 10, after receiving 3. days of orally administered vitamin D3, her level was 9.8. ng/ml. One week later, after receiving 3 sublingual doses of vitamin D2, it rose to 20.3. ng/ml. It was then measured on alternating days twice over the next 4. days, and it rose to 45.5. ng/ml, and then to 47.4. ng/ml on the day of discharge to home. The major finding of this study is that sublingual administration of vitamin D2 appears to work effectively when intestinal absorption is impaired. The optimal dosing regimen still needs to be determined for the average Crohn's disease patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Correction of vitamin D deficiency using sublingually administered vitamin D2 in a Crohn's disease patient with mal-absorption and a new ileostomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this