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Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1324-9.

Vitamin D supplementation and bone mineral density in early postmenopausal women.

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Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine, Northern Metabolic Bone Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Australia.



Increased vitamin D intake may preserve or increase bone mineral density (BMD) in older persons.


A 2-y double-blind study was undertaken to determine whether weekly administration of 10 000 units of vitamin D(2) maintained or increased BMD in younger postmenopausal women more efficiently than did calcium supplements alone.


One hundred eighty-seven women who were >or= 1 y postmenopausal were randomly assigned to take either 1000 mg Ca/d after the evening meal or 1000 mg Ca/d plus 10 000 U vitamin D(2)/wk in a double-blind, placebo-controlled format. The BMD of the proximal forearm, lumbar spine, femoral neck, Ward's triangle, and femoral trochanter was measured at 6-mo intervals by osteodensitometry.


During the 2-y period, there was no significant difference in the change in BMD at any site between the subjects taking calcium supplements and those taking calcium plus vitamin D(2). Both groups significantly (P < 0.005) gained BMD in Ward's triangle and the femoral trochanter but significantly (P < 0.005) lost bone in the proximal radius. There was no significant change in the lumbar spine or femoral neck BMD.


In younger postmenopausal women ( age: 56 y) whose average baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was well within the normal range, the addition of 10 000 U vitamin D(2)/wk to calcium supplementation at 1000 mg/d did not confer benefits on BMD beyond those achieved with calcium supplementation alone.

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