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Br J Nutr. 2008 Jul;100(1):197-207. doi: 10.1017/S000711450789430X. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Effect of vitamin D supplementation on bone and vitamin D status among Pakistani immigrants in Denmark: a randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled intervention study.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, DK-2860 Søborg, Denmark.


Severe vitamin D deficiency is common among Muslim immigrants. The dose necessary to correct the deficiency and its consequence for bone health are not known for immigrants. The aim was to assess the effect of relatively low dosages of supplemental vitamin D on vitamin D and bone status in Pakistani immigrants. This 1-year-long randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled intervention with vitamin D3 (10 and 20 microg/d) included girls (10.1-14.7 years), women (18.1-52.7 years) and men (17.9-63.5 years) of Pakistani origin living in Denmark. The main endpoints were serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25OHD), parathyroid hormone, bone turnover markers and bone mass. The study showed that supplementation with 10 and 20 microg vitamin D3 per d increased S-25OHD concentrations similarly in vitamin D-deficient Pakistani women (4-fold), and that 10 microg increased S-25OHD concentrations 2-fold and 20 microg 3-fold in Pakistani men. S-25OHD concentrations increased at 6 months and were stable thereafter. Baseline S-25OHD concentrations tended to be lower in girls and women than in men; females achieved about 46 nmol/l and men 55 nmol/l after supplementation. Serum intact parathyroid hormone concentrations decreased at 6 months, but there was no significant effect of the intervention on bone turnover markers and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements of the whole body and lumbar spine.

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