Pattern of 25-hydroxy vitamin D response at short (2 month) and long (1 year) interval after 8 weeks of oral supplementation with cholecalciferol in Asian Indians with chronic hypovitaminosis D

Ravinder Goswami, Nandita Gupta, Debarti Ray, Namrata Singh, Neeraj Tomar
British Journal of Nutrition 2008, 100 (3): 526-9
Hypovitaminosis D is common in Asian Indians. Physicians often prescribe 1500 mug (60 000 IU) cholecalciferol per week for 8 weeks for vitamin D deficiency in India. Its efficacy to increase serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) over short (2 months) and long (1 year) term is not known. We supplemented a group of twenty-eight apparently healthy Asian Indians detected to have low serum 25(OH)D (mean 13.5 (sd 3.0) nmol/l) on screening during January-March 2005. Serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) level was supranormal in 30 % of them. Oral supplementation included 1500 mug cholecalciferol per week and 1g elemental Ca daily for 8 weeks. Serum 25(OH)D, total Ca, inorganic P and intact (i) PTH were reassessed in twenty-three subjects (twelve females and eleven males) who had follow up at both 8 weeks and 1 year. At 8 weeks the mean 25(OH)D levels increased to 82.4 (sd 20.7) nmol/l and serum PTH normalized in all. Twenty-two of the twenty-three subjects had 25(OH)D levels>49.9 nmol/l. At 1 year, though the mean 25(OH)D level of 24.7 (sd 10.9) nmol/l was significantly higher than the baseline, all subjects were 25(OH)D deficient. Five subjects with supranormal iPTH at baseline showed recurrence of biochemical hyperparathyroidism. Thus, with 8 weeks of cholecalciferol supplementation in Asian Indians with chronic hypovitaminosis D, mean serum 25(OH)D levels would be normalized and serum PTH value would be reduced to half. However, such quick supplementation would not maintain their 25(OH)D levels in the sufficient range for 1 year. For sustained improvement in 25(OH)D levels vitamin D supplementation has to be ongoing after the initial cholecalciferol loading.

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