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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun;60(6):727-33. Epub 2006 Jan 4.

Effect of vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and bone turnover markers in young adults.

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  • 1Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK.



To assess the vitamin D status of healthy young people living in Northern Ireland and the effect of vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and bone turnover.


Double-blinded randomised controlled intervention study.


University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.


In total, 30 apparently healthy students (15 male and 15 female subjects), aged 18-27 years, were recruited from the university, with 27 completing the intervention.


Subjects were randomly assigned, to receive either 15 microg (600 IU) vitamin D(3) and 1,500 mg calcium/day (vitamin D group), or 1,500 mg calcium/day (control group) for 8 weeks between January and March. Vitamin D status, bone turnover markers, serum calcium and parathyroid hormone concentrations were measured at baseline and post intervention.


At baseline, vitamin D status was low in both the vitamin D group (47.9 (s.d. 16.0)) and the control group (55.5 (s.d. 18.6) nmol/l 25(OH)D). Post intervention vitamin D status was significantly higher in the vitamin D-treated group (86.5 (s.d. 24.5)) compared to the control group (48.3 (s.d. 16.8) nmol/l) (P<0.0001). There was no significant effect of supplementation on bone turnover markers or PTH concentrations.


This study suggests that young adults in Northern Ireland do not consume an adequate daily dietary intake of vitamin D to maintain plasma vitamin D concentrations in the wintertime. A daily supplement of 15 microg vitamin D(3) significantly increased vitamin D status in these individuals to levels of sufficiency. Achievement of an optimum vitamin D status among young adults may have future positive health implications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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