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Nutrients. 2019 Nov 27;11(12). pii: E2888. doi: 10.3390/nu11122888.

Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Faecal Microbiota: A Randomised Clinical Trial.

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Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3168 Australia.
Diabetes and Vascular Medicine Unit, Monash Health, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia.
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia.
Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia.
Department of Endocrinology, Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia.


In animal studies, vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve gut microbiota and intestinal inflammation. However, limited evidence exists on the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the human gut microbiota. We examined the effect of vitamin D supplementation on faecal microbiota in 26 vitamin D-deficient (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) ≤50 nmol/L), overweight or obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) otherwise healthy adults. Our study was ancillary to a community based double-blind randomised clinical trial, conducted between 2014 and 2016. The participants provided stool samples at baseline and after 100,000 international units (IU) loading dose of cholecalciferol followed by 4000 IU daily or matching placebo for 16 weeks. Faecal microbiota was analysed using 16S rRNA sequencing; V6-8 region. There was no significant difference in microbiome α-diversity between vitamin D and placebo groups at baseline and follow-up (all p > 0.05). In addition, no clustering was found based on vitamin D supplementation at follow-up (p = 0.3). However, there was a significant association between community composition and vitamin D supplementation at the genus level (p = 0.04). The vitamin D group had a higher abundance of genus Lachnospira, and lower abundance of genus Blautia (linear discriminate analysis >3.0). Moreover, individuals with 25(OH)D >75 nmol/L had a higher abundance of genus Coprococcus and lower abundance of genus Ruminococcus compared to those with 25(OH)D <50 nmol/L. Our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation has some distinct effects on faecal microbiota. Future studies need to explore whether these effects would translate into improved clinical outcomes.


25-hydroxyvitamin D; faecal microbiota; inflammation; randomised trial

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