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Eur J Nutr. 2010 Aug;49(5):277-83. doi: 10.1007/s00394-009-0084-0. Epub 2009 Nov 28.

Is a lower dose of vitamin D supplementation enough to increase 25(OH)D status in a sunny country?

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Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, Av Dr Arnaldo, 715, São Paulo, SP, CEP 01246-904, Brazil.



Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for bone metabolism Vitamin D can either be obtained from dietary sources or cutaneous synthesis. The study was conducted in subtropic weather; therefore, some might believe that the levels of solar radiation would be sufficient in this area.


To evaluate calcium and vitamin D supplementation in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis living in a sunny country.


A 3-month controlled clinical trial with 64 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, mean age 62 + or - 8 years. They were randomly assigned to either the supplement group, who received 1,200 mg of calcium carbonate and 400 IU (10 microg) of vitamin D(3,) or the control group. Dietary intake assessment was performed, bone mineral density and body composition were measured, and biochemical markers of bone metabolism were analyzed.


Considering all participants at baseline, serum vitamin D was under 75 nmol/l in 91.4% of the participants. The concentration of serum 25(OH)D increased significantly (p = 0.023) after 3 months of supplementation from 46.67 + or - 13.97 to 59.47 + or - 17.50 nmol/l. However, the dose given was limited in effect, and 86.2% of the supplement group did not reach optimal levels of 25(OH)D. Parathyroid hormone was elevated in 22.4% of the study group. After the intervention period, mean parathyroid hormone tended to decrease in the supplement group (p = 0.063).


The dose given (400 IU/day) was not enough to achieve 25(OH)D concentration, considered optimal for bone health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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