Study Spotlight

Study Spotlight

High doses of vitamin D are not more effective than standard dosage in improving bone mineral density for postmenopausal women


Researchers determined that while an optimal dosage of vitamin D(3) is not known, high doses are not more effective than standard doses in improving bone mass density (BMD) and reducing bone turnover in postmenopausal women with reduced bone mass. Vitamin D is widely used in osteoporosis treatment, although the optimal dose is not known. This 1-year clinical study among 297 women aged 50-80 years old showed that a vitamin D(3) dose of 6,500 IU/day was not better than the standard dose of 800 IU/day in improving BMD in the hip and spine. Postmenopausal women with bone loss in either the lumbar spine or total hip area were randomly selected to receive 6,500 IU vitamin D(3)/day (20,000 IU twice per week + 800 IU/day) or 800 IU vitamin D(3)/day (placebo twice per week + 800 IU/day). Both groups were given 1,000 mg elemental calcium/day. After 1 year, BMD at all measurement sites was unchanged or slightly improved with no significant differences between the groups. Although bone t urnover was reduced in both groups, the more pronounced reduction in serum levels of the bone formation marker P1NP in the standard-dose group may indicate that standard treatment was more efficient in reducing bone turnover. Adverse events did not differ between the groups. Results suggest that high doses of vitamin D aren't more efficient in treating bone loss in postmenopausal women.

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