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Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan;97(1):217-23. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.046102. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Supplementation with 1000 IU vitamin D/d leads to parathyroid hormone suppression, but not increased fractional calcium absorption, in 4-8-y-old children: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.

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USDA/Agricultural Research Service, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



The effects of vitamin D supplementation in healthy prepubertal children on physiologic outcomes have not been investigated.


The objective was to evaluate the effects of supplementation with 1000 IU vitamin D(3)/d on calcium absorption.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 64 children to 1000 IU vitamin D(3)/d (n = 32) or placebo (n = 32) for 8 wk. Stable isotopes were used to assess calcium absorption. The main outcome measure was calcium absorption before and after supplementation.


All of the data are shown as means ± SDs. At baseline, vitamin D intake was 221 ± 79 IU/d and calcium intake was 830 ± 197 mg/d. Baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was not significantly correlated with fractional or total calcium absorption. After 8 wk, with baseline values used as a covariate, no differences were seen in fractional or total calcium absorption based on supplementation group (P = 0.75 and 0.36, respectively). Supplemented children had a significant increase in 25(OH)D concentrations (from 27.7 ± 7.4 to 36.0 ± 10.3 ng/mL; P < 0.0001) and a decrease in parathyroid hormone (from 21.4 ± 10.4 to 12.9 ± 7.1 pg/mL; P < 0.001); no significant changes in the placebo group were observed. No adverse side effects were noted in either group.


Vitamin D(3) supplementation at 1000 IU/d increases 25(OH)D and decreases parathyroid hormone in children with average vitamin D intakes below the dietary recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. However, no significant effects of this change on calcium absorption occurred. This trial was registered at as NCT 00868738.

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