Original Article

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2015) 69, 697–702; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2015.16; published online 18 March 2015

Vitamins and plant ingredients

Vitamin D3 seems more appropriate than D2 to sustain adequate levels of 25OHD: a pharmacokinetic approach

B Oliveri1, S R Mastaglia1, G M Brito1, M Seijo1, G A Keller2, J Somoza1, R A Diez2 and G Di Girolamo2

  1. 1Laboratorio de Enfermedades Metabólicas Óseas, INIGEM-CONICET-UBA, Hospital de Clínicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  2. 2Segunda Cátedra de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Correspondence: Dr B Oliveri, Laboratorio de Enfermedades Metabólicas Óseas, INIGEM-CONICET-UBA, Hospital de Clínicas, Av.Córdoba 2351, floor 8th, Buenos Aires 1120, Argentina. E-mail: beatrizoliveri@yahoo.com.ar

Received 5 May 2014; Revised 16 November 2014; Accepted 16 January 2015
Advance online publication 18 March 2015

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Abstract

Background/Objectives:

 

The superiority of cholecalciferol (D3) over ergocalciferol (D2) in sustaining serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD) levels is controversial. To compare D2 with D3 we performed a single-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial spanning 11 weeks.

Subjects/Methods:

 

Healthy volunteers (n=33, aged 33.4±6 years) were divided into three groups (n=11, each): D2, D3 and placebo. Treatment started with a loading dose (100000 IU) followed by 4800 IU/day (d) between d7 and d20 and follow-up until d77. Serum samples were obtained at baseline and at days 3, 7, 14, 21, 35, 49, 63 and 77.

Results:

 

Baseline 25OHD values in the D2 group were lower than those in the D3 and placebo groups (P<0.01). Placebo 25OHD levels never changed. As after the loading dose both D2 and D3 groups had reached similar 25OHD levels, we tested equivalence of the area under the concentration × time curve (AUC) between d7 and d77. The AUC was 28.6% higher for D3 compared with D2, and both were higher with respect to placebo. At d77, D2 25OHD levels were higher than those at baseline, but similar to placebo; both were lower than D3 (P<0.04). According to raw data, the elimination half-life of 25OHD was 84 and 111 days under D2 and D3 supplementation, respectively; after subtracting the placebo values, the corresponding figures were 33 and 82 days.

Conclusions:

 

D2 and D3 were equally effective in elevating 25OHD levels after a loading dose. In the long term, D3 seems more appropriate for sustaining 25OHD, which could be relevant for classic and non-classic effects of vitamin D.

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