I found two online sellers advertising animal feed calcifediol supplements made by
DSM - one a powder and the other a
liquid. It is
that the liquid is not a stocked item they have for sale, but
I am mentioning it anyway, since the listing includes price information.
Maybe someone can find a seller who has it in stock, for online
The powder form is available for in-person and online sale to residents
of Canada. Since I am in Australia, I asked one Canadian package
forwarding company to purchase it and send it to me, but they declined
since they decided that it would involve them in filling in extra
So at present (2021-04-09) I don't know of any agricultural source of
25OHD, AKA calcifediol, AKA 25-OH-S AKA 25(OH)D AKA 25-hydroxyvitamin D
which can be sent to most countries in the world. I will
keep looking, and if anyone finds such a product, please let me know.
This page also lists some places where pure lab-grade calcifediol can
be purchased. I guess some of these can ship to other countries,
or could be obtained via a package forwarding company.
The following is for the interest of people who make up their own minds about nutrition and medical matters
This includes doctors, other healthcare professionals and various
autodidacts. The suggestions below are the thoughts of an
electronic technician. If you treat this like medical advice and
bad things happen, blame yourself and not me. If these ideas
prompt you to make
I am contemplating emergency situations where people who are not
vitamin D replete - due to insufficient recent UV-B skin exposure and
not having taken robust D3 supplementation for months to bring their
25OHD levels to (very approximately == "~~") ~~50ng/ml or more.
When such people contract COVID-19 then they need their 25OHD
levels boosted to at least 50ng/ml as a matter of urgency. (The
same goes for sepsis, Kawasaki disease and Multisystem Inflammatory
Syndrome, as mentioned above.) Bolus D3 (even if we can get
enough of it in a large-scale COVID-19 crisis) is too slow to get their
25OHD levels up. It days days or week or so. The only way
to raise 25OHD levels in a few hours is
- oral administration is fine, unless the person is unconscious or on a
mechanical ventilator, in which case you will need a doctor or nurse
and intravenous calcifideol.
I am contemplating doctors and nurses supervising this, or autodidacts
doing it for themselves, their loved ones and friends due to the
impossibility of finding any medical professional who will handle the
situation this well.
tablets, then this is great. Not counting shipping, the cost is about USD$20 for 60 x 10ug = 0.6mg, so the cost is
. I think 1 milligram is likely to be a lifesaver in some emergency situations.
If you need calcifediol then you need it immediately - hours, not days
or weeks. So you will need to buy some well beforehand. The
Fortaro tablets are a good choice, since they are inexpensive, pharma
grade, and most people would be able to ingest 60 to over 100 tablets
over a period of minutes or half an hour without any trouble.
(Remember you are reading the ramblings of an electronic technician,
not something from a peer-reviewed journal article.)
. Maybe you could get this through US Customs. You can pay
USD$20 a gram (enough for 1000 patients) or USD$40 a kilogram
These prices vary by 5 or 6 orders of magnitude, and I can't see a
reliable way of assessing which companies would providing the real,
~~99.9% pure material - or how the purchaser could prove to anyone else
that this material is what it is sold as. These suppliers would
be adept at flying their products
under Customs radar, so they would not necessarily be labeled in ways
which would alert Customs to the product being a prescription
pharmaceutical. Also, it might be easier to have it shipped to to
a mail forwarding company in a country other than the USA.
Use of these in humans would probably violate laws,
regulations, insurance and employment rules, so a doctor doing so in
the USA would probably face all sorts of difficulties. However,
for people who have not been robustly supplementing vitamin D for
months already, and who contract COVID-19, immediate ingestion of 0.6
to 1.0 milligrams of calcifediol 25 hydroxy vitamin D is likely to save
them from severe symptoms, lasting harm and possibly death. (More for obese adults.)
This section contemplates the use of
agricultural animal nutritional supplements for human use. This
is contrary to the specification of the product and the intention of
the manufacturer. Such use may also be contrary to various laws,
principles, professional misconduct insurance requirements etc. etc.
etc. If any of this gives you a headache, please read no further.
What follows are suggestions of an electronic technician for acquiring,
in a 5kg pail, for about USD$100 plus shipping, sufficient calcifediol
to raise the 25OHD levels of 1500 or so people to 50ng/ml or more
within a few hours, for the purposes of enabling their immune system
cells to function properly (at least in respect of their autocrine and
paracrine signaling) and so have a good chance of suppressing
SARS-CoV-2 infection and avoiding the excessively inflammatory
responses which are the primary or sole cause of severe COVID-19,
Kawasaki disease and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
I also suggest that the contents of each pail could provide good levels
of vitamin D supplementation for about 285 person years, at a cost
which is lower than any normal pharma-grade D3 arrangement, but
probably not lower than using feed grade D3.
The DSM Hy-D product page: https://www.dsm.com/anh/en_US/products/vitamins/hy-d.html
does not have specific details of this or any other Hy-D products.
I searched high and low before I found this source of calcifediol
online, in-stock, with price. Please let me know if you find any
more. See below for a liquid form, also available for
online ordering - but actually not available.
- Animal Health Product Distributors, in Airdrie, 28km north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada: https://www.ahpd.ca/product/hy-d-ws-5kg/ DSM Hy-D Water Soluble (HY-D WS) 5kg for CAD$124.99 ~=USD$100. Each kg contains 375mg calcifediol, so the pail contains 1.875 grams of calcifediol. This powder is 0.0375% calcifediol. Not counting shipping, this is USD$0.0533 per milligram - good value, since a milligram could save a life.
2021-03-26: Since they only ship to Canadian destinations, and expect
the billing address to be in Canada as well, I tried ordering this via
the Buy it For Me service of Canadian Package Forwarder https://ShipByMail.com . 2021-04-07:
However, they did not proceed with the purchase since they found that
they would need to fill in special customs forms to send this product
The active ingredients are listed on the label as "375mg
25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 per kg, Citric Acid. The "guaranteed
analysis" per kg is "Vitamin D3 (min) 15,000,000 IU". However
this product does not contain cholecalciferol, which is the usual,
specific, meaning of "Vitamin D3". Each gram of
cholecalciferol is 40,000,000 IU, so the above figure of 15,000,000 IU
is just treating this calcifediol as if were cholecalciferol.
There is no recognised IU (International Unit) mass quantity for
calcifediol. 1ug of calcifediol is likely to raise 25OHD levels
of humans about as much as (very approximately) 2 to 3 to 4 or 5ug
cholecalciferol. I guess 4
- see the discussion above. If so, then 1ug of calcifediol would
raise 25OHD levels about as much as 4ug cholecalciferol, which is 100
IU. On the basis of this guesstimate, the pail's contents would
be able to raise 25OHD about as much as 7.5 grams of D3.
(The ex-factory cost of pharma-grade D3 is around USD$2.50 in 1kg
lots.) This is 2.25 billion IU.
The same product may be available in 25kg bags. Please let me know if
this can be purchased online or from distributor shelves. See
below for a liquid form of the same product, which is somewhat more
This powder is intended to be mixed into water and then further diluted
into the water feed for chickens and turkeys and pigs. 2.66 grams of this powder
, I guess about a teaspoon full, will provide 1mg calcifediol
- and it was 0.532mg which made such a difference in Cordoba.
This powder is 0.000375 = 0.0375% calcifediol
The Fortaro tablets are 0.0067% calcifediol, so 15 grams of these
tablets provide 1 milligram of calcifediol. The powder in
this pail is 5.6 times as concentrated as the Fortaro
While my interest in calcifediol was solely for its use as a one-off
dose to raise circulating 25OHD levels in a few hours, to healthy
levels in the 50 to 100ng/ml range, when people really need it, such as
when at risk of, or suffering, severe COVID-19, sepsis, Kawasaki
disease or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
However, the low cost of this powder makes me consider other uses: To what extent would this be a good alternative to D3 for long-term supplementation?
I am thinking theoretically and am ignoring whatever concerns their
might be supplying agricultural animal nutritional supplements to
humans. I imagine some or many doctors running as hard as they
can in the opposite direction from such a suggestion, in part due to
fear they may be referred to as a (sound emitted by duck).
However, if I was a doctor - or even if I wasn't - and I was in some
area where people were dying and/or being seriously harmed by COVID-19
(and long COVID can begin after a relatively mild illness, so everyone
is at risk) and I could obtain a product like this, in 5kg or more
quantities, I would then be in a position to distributed it to lots of
needy people, as a one-off intervention, for trivial cost per dose.
But rather than wait until people become sick, or were reasonably
suspected of being infected with COVID-19, it would be better to
supplement as many people as possible to get their 25OHD levels up to 50ng/ml
or so at least, for their general health and to ensure their immune
cells have enough 25OHD if and when they get COVID-19.
Since neither vaccination and/or prior infection provide reliable
protection from further infections, especially with one of the
increasing number of new variants: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/#update-2021-01-31
this means the entire population is at risk.
To get a person's 25OHD level up within hours, with this generally
lasting for days or a week or so (see the patent graph above) I guess a
one-of dose 14ug calcifediol per kg bodyweight would do the trick, no
matter how low the person's level was before
this. (Only if a person's level was close to or
beyond whatever level for them results in hypercalcemia or
hypercalciuria would this one-of dose cause any problems.
Such levels might be as low as 150ng/ml for some people. So
assuming the person had not already been overdoing D3 supplementation,
this one-off dose would do no harm, and in many cases would provide
decisive benefits if and when the person is infected with COVID-19.
But what about using this inexpensive material for long-term supplementation, as an alternative to D3 capsules or powder
D3 alternatives include, for a 70kg adult, one 5000 IU cap a day or,
for instance, one 50,000 IU capsule a week (7143 IU a day). See https://vitamindstopscovid.info/01-supp/
for my ideas on D3 supplemental intake quantities as a ratio of bodyweight.
There is no precise conversion between calcifediol and D3
(cholecalciferol) regarding long-term 25OHD levels. I
guess the ratio is around 4:1 - meaning that 100ug of calcifediol will
raise 25OHD levels about as much as 400ug (1000 IU) of D3.
Ignoring uncertainties about the actual potency of the above product
(which would depend to some degree on how long it has been stored for,
and at what temperature) and regarding the possibly somewhat higher
nonavailability's of the Faes Farma 0.266mg calcifediol in oil capsules
compared to this dry powder (best take this powder at the end of a meal
with significant fats) here are some thoughts on how much of this
material would be needed to raise a 70kg adult's 25OHD levels to a
healthy 50ng/ml or so. Depending on the research article cited, I
think that 5000 IU a day D3 in average weight adults raises 25OHD
levels to the 50 to 60ng/ml range, which is what we should aim for in a
If we assume a 4:1 ratio, then instead of 0.125mg (5000 IU) D3 per day, we would only need 0.031mg calcifediol per day
. Since the cost (ex-shipping) of Hy-D WS is 5.33 US cents per milligram, this is 0.17 US cents per day
Another angle is to look at this research from Spain, which used a
single Faes Farma Hidroferol capsule every two weeks or every month:
This article and some similar studies which are cited in it have these results, all with people suffering from osteoporosis:
40 post menopausal women for 6 months, baseline ~15.5ng/ml:
- 0.266mg once a week: 80ng/ml.
- 0.266mg once every 2 weeks: 65ng/ml.
Women for 3 months, baseline ~21ng/ml:
- 0.266mg once a week: 82ng/ml.
23 men and 133 women, av. weight ~65kg, BMI ~26.5 and age ~72 years, after one year of treatment:
- 0.266mg every 15 days: baseline 17ng/ml -> 56ng/ml.
- 0.266mg every month: baseline 23ng/ml > 39ng/ml.
The researchers decided that 0.266mg once a month gave the 25OHD levels
they were happiest with. I think the 0.266mg every 14 or 15
days gave a more desirable result.
Sidebar on frequency of D3 or calcifediol supplementary intakes:
There are critiques of weekly D3 dosing
compared to daily dosing, but I am not convinced that once a week is
too infrequent. I would be inclined to think that once
every two weeks or more is probably too lumpy, given what I know about
D3 decay rates and 25OHD's half-life, which gets shorter at higher
levels. (This is a whole different discussion I have not yet
Perspective: Vitamin D supplementation
prevents rickets and acute respiratory infections when given
as daily maintenance but not as intermittent bolus:
implications for COVID-19
George Griffin, Martin Hewison, Julian Hopkin, Rose
Anne Kenny, Richard Quinton, Jonathan Rhodes, Sreedhar
Subramanian and David Thickett
Royal College of Physicians Clinical Medicine Journal 2021-02-16
From this I conclude provisionally that 0.266mg every 15 days gives us
the 25OHD levels we want, at least in these older people. This is
0.018mg calcifediol per day
, which is 0.096 US cents a day
. (This implies a calcifediol to cholecalciferol effectiveness ratio of about 0.125 / 0.018 = 7:1
which is a lot more than the 4:1 I guesstimated above.)
This low a cost would be hard to beat with D3 capsules - though
remember I am discussing a powder, which someone needs to measure and
dispense in quantities and frequencies roughly according to bodyweight
- so there are extra costs, which need not be very high.
For D3 capsules for developed nations, 50,000 IU capsules, such as one a week is a good approach. The Bio-Tech Pharmacal capsules
Tina and I use cost USD$30 for 100 capsules, so this is 4.285 cents a day
. Other companies make similar products at somewhat lower prices.
Scouring Alibaba for the cheapest bulk prices on 5,000 IU D3 capsules I
found one supplier (MOQ = minimum order quantity) 30,000 capsules
USD$11.42 per thousand capsules. One of these a day is 1.142 US cents a day
D3 diluted in powder is available there too, but the prices are all
over the place, so for comparison I used a US supplement
supplier. Note that this is pharma grade D3, and I am comparing
it animal feed grade calcifediol - though I have no reason to think
there is anything technically deficient or dangerous in this particular
20kg of 0.25% (1/400th strength) D3 powder costs USD$1050. This
is 50 grams of D3 = 2,000,000,000 IU which could provide 400,000 5000IU
daily doses. Such a dose with this material would cost 0.265 cents per day
. Feed grade D3 diluted powder would be less expensive, I am sure, but I haven't found a price.
On the above assumption - a 7:1 effectiveness ratio, one 5kg pail
(total mass with packing would be 6 or 7 kg) of this Hy-D WS powder
would provide 104,167 days
of supplementation for 70kg adults to the ~50ng/ml level. This is 285 person years
Using the abovementioned D3 powder to provide the same number of daily
doses would be 104,167 * 0.125mg * 400 = 5.2kg. So Hy-D WS has no
inherent weight or compactness advantage over this common 1/400
concentration D3 powder. The D3 in feed grade powder has not been
refined as much as that in the pharma grade, but I am not sure how much
that matters to humans or non-human animals. My guess is that
this difference would cause no significant health effects.
So it seems that DSM Hy-D Water Soluble would be cost-completive for
long-term supplementation compared with all pharma grade D3 products,
including raw powder, but probably not compared to feed grade D3 powder.
Not pharma grade, so potential legal and other complications giving it to humans.
(I can't imagine there would be any safety concerns, assuming reasonable quantities - but I am no authority on such matters.)
The powder needs to be divided up, such as into capsules with a capsule
filling machine, or diluted in water. (But how long is it stable
in water?) Capsules can be filled by hand. Precise
measurement to finer than 20 or 30% is not really required.
No provision of D3 cholecalciferol, which, without conversion to 25OHD, has been shown to be protective of endothelial cells: ../#2015-Gibson
No reliance on liver function to
convert into 25OHD. This may remove a significant cause of
individual variation in D3 -> 25OHD responses.
No delay due to liver processing. This is not important in the
long term, but is helpful when getting people's levels up to start with.
Inexpensive compared to all alternatives except feed grade D3.
Perhaps this would be of interest to people in developing countries, or
to those in developed countries whose medical systems are not up to
speed on the need for vitamin D levels of 50ng/ml or so, and which
either will not or cannot provide sufficient (1mg is not much)
calcifediol when unsupplemented people contract COVID-19.
It may provide cost advantages for long-term supplementation over
pharma grade D3 capsules and raw powder, but probably not over feed
grade D3 powder.
If this powder was to be used for my suggested arrangement (above) of
14ug per kg bodyweight single dose to rapidly boost 25OHD levels in
emergencies, then here is some guidance:
The powder is 0.000375 calcifediol,
which is one part in 2667. So 37 milligrams of powder contains
14ug calcifediol. For a 10kg child, this works out to 0.37
grams of powder. Ideally, use a milligram scale.
Otherwise weigh out 16 times this (6 grams) spread into a square, and
divide into 16 smaller squares all the same size.
For a 70kg adult: 70 x 0.037 grams = 2.6 grams. There's nothing
very precise about this. Toxicity is hard to imagine with a
one-off dose like this, and these quantities err on the high side,
because in the hours and days which follow, the person's health and
life hangs in the balance.