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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Case study: High dose vitamin D helps treat platelet disorder

Over a year ago, Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg of the University of Alberta reported in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health that he treated a case of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura by prescribing 4,000 IU of vitamin D/day.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is characterized by a low platelet count with normal bone marrow. Platelets help the body with hemostasis, a process to make sure that damaged blood vessels stop bleeding. Since people with ITP have a low platelet count, they have trouble managing bleeding. Signs of ITP include excessive bleeding nose and gums and a purpura rash on the skin.

ITP is likely an autoimmune disorder where antibodies attack platelets, though it is not known for certain. The cause of ITP is not known. It affects only 2-3 people out of every 100,000 persons. The goal of treating ITP is to keep platelet count above the lower threshold.

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  About: Brant Cebulla

Brant Cebulla was a staff member for the Vitamin D Council from May 2011 to April 2014. He has keen interests in nutrition and exercise.

5 Responses to Case study: High dose vitamin D helps treat platelet disorder

  1. Magic says:

    Well, another plus for D3. One that I had no idea it could have been D3. Several years ago my doctor found in my blood work that my platelets were low. 93, I believe. He suggested nothing to improve the situation but got me scheduled for tests that included sticking a needle in my back bone., whatever that’s called. Before the procedure they tested again and I had 142. I was pleased…..I went home “cured.” That was the time when I first started taking D3.


  2. Kate Saley says:

    Very interesting Magic. How much vitamin D3 were you taking? Have you had low platelet levels since?

  3. Magic says:


    I really do not remember. At the time I was looking all over the internet for help. Finding none I went in fully expecting to be “stuck in the back”…..LOL..

    I have slowly but surely feeling good about larger amounts of D3 when I feel I need it. I will guess about 5000..

  4. Magic says:

    Kate, I am sorry. To answer the question as to how my platelets are now. All I know is that the doctors tell me “they are fine.”

    I went into get an annual checkup in January. I had blood drawn and when the results came back my doctor said see you next year, I was impressed at 6 months from 80 years of age.

    I pay lots of attention to what is safe and not safe with any medical solution. I think it is a shame that many doctors still don’t want to know about D3.

  5. Kate Saley says:

    That’s great Magic. Sounds like you are doing quite well!