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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Feb;59(2):286-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03242.x. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

The response of elderly veterans to daily vitamin D3 supplementation of 2,000 IU: a pilot efficacy study.

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1
Geriatrics Institute, Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA. evan.cherniack@va.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D<32 ng/mL; HVD) in a population of elderly veterans and conduct a preliminary assessment of the efficacy of supplementation with cholecalciferol in correcting HVD.

DESIGN:

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

SETTING:

Geriatric clinic at the Bruce W. Carter Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, Florida.

PARTICIPANTS:

Veterans aged 70 and older.

INTERVENTION:

Oral cholecalciferol 2,000 IU daily or placebo for 6 months.

MEASUREMENTS:

Serum calcium, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and 24-hour urinary calcium.

RESULTS:

Of the 34 participants who completed the study, 62% had HVD at baseline. In the treatment group, mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level rose from 28.4±7.9 ng/mL at baseline to 42.7±10.5 ng/mL at the end of the trial, but levels remained less than 32 ng/mL in three of 17 (18%) of the participants. In the placebo group, the baseline level of 27.7±8.3 ng/mL remained unchanged (28.8±8.7 ng/mL). Supplementation did not alter serum or urinary calcium levels and did not result in any adverse events.

CONCLUSION:

These initial observations suggest that, in older veterans, cholecalciferol 2,000 IU daily for 6 months is generally safe and corrects HVD in most but not all individuals.

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