Hip bone loss is attenuated with 1000 IU but not 400 IU daily vitamin D3: a 1-year double-blind RCT in postmenopausal women

Helen M Macdonald, Adrian D Wood, Lorna S Aucott, Alison J Black, William D Fraser, Alexandra Mavroeidi, David M Reid, Karen R Secombes, William G Simpson, Frank Thies
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: the Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2013, 28 (10): 2202-13
Few year-long vitamin D supplementation trials exist that match seasonal changes. The aim of this study was to determine whether daily oral vitamin D3 at 400 IU or 1000 IU compared with placebo affects annual bone mineral density (BMD) change in postmenopausal women in a 1-year double-blind placebo controlled trial in Scotland. White women aged 60 to 70 years (n = 305) were randomized to one of two doses of vitamin D or placebo. All participants started simultaneously in January/February 2009, attending visits at bimonthly intervals with 265 (87%) women attending the final visit and an additional visit 1 month after treatment cessation. BMD (Lunar iDXA) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D[1,25(OH)2 D], N-terminal propeptide of type 1 collagen [P1NP], C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen [CTX], and fibroblast growth factor-23 [FGF23] were measured by immunoassay at the start and end of treatment. Circulating PTH, serum Ca, and total 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] (latter by tandem mass spectrometry) were measured at each visit. Mean BMD loss at the hip was significantly less for the 1000 IU vitamin D group (0.05% ± 1.46%) compared with the 400 IU vitamin D or placebo groups (0.57% ± 1.33% and 0.60% ± 1.67%, respectively) (p < 0.05). Mean (± SD) baseline 25(OH)D was 33.8 ± 14.6 nmol/L; comparative 25(OH)D change for the placebo, 400 IU, and 1000 IU vitamin D groups was -4.1 ± 11.5 nmol/L, +31.6 ± 19.8 nmol/L, and +42.6 ± 18.9 nmol/L, respectively. Treatment did not change markers of bone metabolism, except for a small reduction in PTH and an increase in serum calcium (latter with 1000 IU dose only). The discordance between the incremental increase in 25(OH)D between the 400 IU and 1000 IU vitamin D and effect on BMD suggests that 25(OH)D may not accurately reflect clinical outcome, nor how much vitamin D is being stored.

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