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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effect of vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and parathyroid function in elderly subjects.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the elderly and may lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism, cortical bone loss, and hip fractures. The effect of vitamin D supplementation for 1 yr was studied in 72 people living in a nursing home and 70 people living in an aged people's home. The subjects were randomized into 3 groups: control, and 400 or 800 IU vitamin D3/day. The initial vitamin D status of each subject was classified as deficient or borderline [serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) less than 30 nmol/L] in 79% and adequate (serum 25OHD greater than or equal to 30 nmol/L) in 21%. Serum 25OHD concentrations increased about 3-fold in both groups receiving vitamin D supplementation. Serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25-(OH)2D] concentrations increased slightly but significantly, and the increase was inversely related to the initial serum 25OHD concentration. Serum intact PTH-(1-84) concentrations decreased about 15% during supplementation in both nursing home and aged people's home residents, whereas serum osteocalcin significantly decreased in the nursing home residents only. We conclude that a vitamin D3 supplement of 400 IU/day adequately improves vitamin D status in elderly people and increases 1,25-(OH)2D concentrations in those with vitamin D deficiency. Supplementation decreases parathyroid function and may depress bone turnover to some degree.[1]


  1. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and parathyroid function in elderly subjects. Lips, P., Wiersinga, A., van Ginkel, F.C., Jongen, M.J., Netelenbos, J.C., Hackeng, W.H., Delmas, P.D., van der Vijgh, W.J. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1988) [Pubmed]
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