Vitamin D Newsletter


Vitamin D and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Meagan from Florida writes:

Dear Dr. Cannell,
Does taking a vitamin D-3 supplement of 5,000 IU per day affect liver functions tests such ALT, AST, bilirubin, etc.? I have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and my liver tests are now normal, the first time in ten years. Could it be the vitamin D?

Dr. Cannell replies:

This topic is close to my heart as my wife was so diagnosed, had a liver biopsy, and told to expect progressive liver disease. The hepatologist even talked about a liver transplant well in the future, which scared us both to death.  Her liver function tests first went down, then came close to normal, and are now low normal on 5,000 IU per day!

A single human study strongly supports this. Targher G, et al, found decreased 25(OH)D concentrations were closely associated with the histological severity of hepatic steatosis, necroinflammation, and fibrosis, (P1

If you have liver disease, get your 25(OH)D above 70 ng/mL. If you do not have liver disease, do the same.

John Cannell MD
6 March 2009

Page last edited: 08 August 2011


  1. Targher G, et al. Associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations and liver histology in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2007 Sep; 17 (7): 517-24.