Vitamin D deficiency in patients with multiple myeloma

I’ve written a bunch of posts on the link between vitamin D deficiency and icky happenings in myeloma. Ever since my SMM friend “Sherlock” talked to me about the importance of taking vitamin D, in fact, I’ve been “obsessed” with it, especially after reading, and writing a post about, the 2009 Mayo study on vitamin D and myeloma folks (click here to read the full Mayo study:

I take vitamin D every morning. It’s important for so many reasons, many of which I’ve written about here on the blog. For more information on vitamin D or any other topic, for that matter, you can do a search of my blog using the handy Search Box on the right-hand side of the homepage.

So why am I picking up this topic again today? Because, thanks to Frank’s post on Facebook, I just finished reading the abstract of a 2015 German study on, you guessed it!, the importance of vitamin D for myeloma patients:

Important excerpt: “We found a widespread and alarming rate of vitamin D deficiency in patients with metastatic bone disease and multiple myeloma.

Well, it seems crystal clear (once again!) that the vitamin D test should be added to our routine series of blood tests. And we NEED to act quickly if we see signs of a deficiency, by asking our doctors to recommend a good vitamin D supplement.

For our health! 🙂


  1. Margaret, the bigger question that I have is, does a low vitamin D level predispose you to the development of MM? Both of my parents died of MM which, in itself, is a pretty sobering reality for me. Despite vitamin D supplementation, I have not been able to raise my levels above the high teens/low 20’s. Have you ever come across studies addressing this side of the issue? Could this be a “which came first–the chicken or the egg?” scenario?

  2. HI Margaret and Sybil, et al…..
    I second Sybil’s question – what if all of this misery is the result of acute or chronic Vit D deficiency? Do we know that it isn’t? I posed this question independently to Irene Ghobrial at Dana Farber a while back, as a possible factor for inclusion in her MGUS progression study. I was diagnosed with MGUS in August, after having low Vit D for years despite taking 1000, then 5000 iu daily. In July my vit D was 14, after spending weeks in the sun! No explanation for why I couldn’t absorb it or (alternatively) why I was burning through what I could absorb. In frustration, after reading that it was safe to take a single large bolus, I took 100,000 iu in one week – and then I was miraculously at 23. Under medical supervision, subsequent doses of 50,000 iu daily for 3 months brought me up to 93, where I am maintaining on 10,000 iu daily. But, I had to fight for it – they were all worried that I’d overdo it and poison myself, so we measured every 2 weeks. We’ll see how this (and 8 g curcumin and 3 g IP6 and 22 mg vit K2 daily ) affects my IgA, M spike and free light chains next week at my first 3 month followup.
    I’m not a physician, but I have a PhD in Ecology/Microbial Geochemistry, so I think about this as a scientist from an ecological standpoint. Healthy bone marrow cells function within a limited range of nutrients, like all cells – human or microbial. In the absence of needed Vit D, normal cells may mutate in response to that epigenetic influence (e.g., environmental selection stress imposed by no Vit D)….bone can’t be made efficiently without Vit D, so osteoclasts outperform the osteoblasts, further creating disequilibrium and selection force on cells in the bone marrow. I know this is a simplistic view of very complicated biochemistry, but ….. As Margaret says, many studies have examined Vit D in the context of myeloma- one recent poster from a group in Kansas showed that bone markers in MGUS are comparable to MM patients where Vit D is depleted, but closer to normal in Vit D sufficient patients. Another showed that MGUS is regionally more prevalent where vit D is limiting (e.g., northern latitudes). These and other papers present an intriguing hypothesis – that vit D deficiency could cause MGUS. Do we know if anyone done a careful study of Vit D deficiency as a causal factor in MGUS progression to MM?


    1. Hi Lisa,
      I know it’s been a number of years since you submitted this post but I was wondering how you went with your doses of Curcumin, IP6, K2 and Vitamin D…….did you experience a reduction in your makers as you had hoped for? If so what were the %’s? Of the four supplements you took, which do you think made the most contribution?
      Many thanks.

      1. Hi, Mark,

        How time flies. My markers did turn around, such that my IgA is barely above normal and my m spike is not detectable at my last visit. I didn’t test efficacy of any one variable independently, but I believe vit D, ip6, k2 with moderate Ca have helped to stabilize my numbers. The biggest drop I saw was after I began taking metformin, 2ce daily. I saw a further improvement when I started following a keto diet. These speak to the value of low and stable blood sugar.

        I found that curcumin was irritating my stomach, so I don’t do that any longer.

  3. I have been having Vit. D tests done with my MM tests for several years. My graph results show a definite relationship from the two times I stopped taking D.

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