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  • Original Article
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Effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on bone turnover in institutionalized adults with Down's Syndrome



To assess the status of vitamin D and the effects of calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation on the bone metabolism in a group of adults with Down's syndrome (DS).


Randomized, parallel, controlled and open clinical trial.


Institution for mentally handicapped: Fundación Uliazpi, Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa, San Sebastián, Spain.


A total of 23 persons with DS, residents at the Uliazpi Foundation were recruited and all completed the study.


In all, 12 participants were randomly allocated to receive 1 g of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D once daily for 1 year while 11 were assigned to the control group, receiving no supplementation.


We found no differences between groups regarding serum calcium and phosphorous levels. The remaining parameters showed differences between the two groups consistent with a beneficial effect of the intervention: serum levels of parathyroid hormone, osteocalcin and crosslaps diminished while serum 25 OH vitamin D3 level increased.


The results obtained allow to include people with DS as a risk group with regards to vitamin D deficit, which that can be corrected with vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and giving rise to an improvement of the biochemical markers related to the phospho-calcium metabolism and bone remodelling.


This study was sponsored by de Uliazpi Foundation, a public entity devoted to the study and care of persons with intellectual disability who require extensive and pervasive support.

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Correspondence to P Zubillaga.

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Guarantors: P Zubillaga, A Garrido and JI Emparanza.

Contributors: IM, JA and RZ.

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Zubillaga, P., Garrido, A., Mugica, I. et al. Effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on bone turnover in institutionalized adults with Down's Syndrome. Eur J Clin Nutr 60, 605–609 (2006).

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