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Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76(6):1446-53.

Vitamin D and attainment of peak bone mass among peripubertal Finnish girls: a 3-y prospective study.

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  • 1Paavo Nurmi Centre, Sport and Exercise Medicine Unit, Department of Physiology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



Little is known about the effect of vitamin D status on bone gain in adolescents.


The objective was to examine whether vitamin D status is associated with accrual of bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral apparent density (BMAD).


This 3-y prospective study examined the association between changes in BMD or BMAD and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in 171 healthy Finnish girls aged 9-15 y. Lumbar spine and femoral neck BMDs were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.


Baseline 25(OH)D correlated significantly with the unadjusted 3-y change in BMD at the lumbar spine (r = 0.35, P < 0.001) and femoral neck (r = 0.32, P < 0.001) in all participants. The difference from baseline in adjusted 3-y BMD accumulation between those with severe hypovitaminosis D [25(OH)D < 20 nmol/L] and those with a normal vitamin D status [25(OH)D > or = 37.5 nmol/L] was 4% (12.7%, 13.1%, and 16.7% for the lowest, middle, and highest tertiles of 25(OH)D, respectively; P for trend = 0.01) at the lumbar spine in the girls with advanced sexual maturation at baseline (n = 129). Moreover, the adjusted change in lumbar spine BMD was 27% greater in the highest vitamin D intake tertile than in the lowest tertile in the same girls (P for trend = 0.016).


Pubertal girls with hypovitaminosis D seem to be at risk of not reaching maximum peak bone mass, particularly at the lumbar spine. Dietary enrichment or supplementation with vitamin D should be considered to ensure an adequate vitamin D status.

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