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Vitamin D2 dose required to rapidly increase 25OHD levels in osteoporotic women



Assessment of the effectiveness and safety of high daily 125 μg (5000 IU) or 250 μg (10 000IU) doses of vitamin D2 during 3 months, in rapidly obtaining adequate 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels.


Longitudinal study.


Postmenopausal osteopenic/osteoporotic women (n=38) were studied during winter and spring. Median age (25–75th percentile) was 61.5 (57.00–66.25) years, and mean bone mineral density (BMD) was 0.902 (0.800–1.042)g/cm2. Subjects were randomly divided into three groups: control group (n=13): no vitamin D2, 125 μg/day (n=13) and 250 μg/day (n=12) of vitamin D2 groups, all receiving 500 mg calcium/day. Serum calcium, phosphate, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), C-telopeptide (CTX), 25OHD, mid-molecule parathyroid hormone (mmPTH), daily urinary calcium and creatinine excretion were determined at baseline and monthly.


For all subjects (n=38), the median baseline 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) level was 36.25 (27.5–48.12) nmol/l. After 3 months, 8% of the patients in the control group, 50% in the 125 μg/day group and 75% in the 250 μg/day group had 25OHD values above 85 nmol/l (34 ng/ml). Considering both vitamin D2 groups together, mmPTH and BAP levels diminished significantly after 3 months (P<0.02), unlike those of CTX. Serum calcium remained within normal range during the follow-up.


The oral dose of vitamin D2 required to rapidly achieve adequate levels of 25OHD is seemingly much higher than the usual recommended vitamin D3 dose (20 μg/day). During 3 months, 250 μg/day of vitamin D2 most effectively raised 25OHD levels to 85 nmol/l in 75% of the postmenopausal osteopenic/osteoporotic women treated.

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This study was supported by the Fundación de Osteoporosis y Enfermedades Metabólicas Óseas (FOEMO). Spedrog Caillon SAIC laboratory supplied the vitamin D2 and calcium.

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Correspondence to S R Mastaglia.

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Guarantor: SR Mastaglia.

Contributors: SRM participated in the recruitment of subjects, the statistical analysis and the preparation of the manuscript. MSP contributed with statistical analysis and preparation of the manuscript. CM and BO participated in the design of the study, the statistical analysis and the preparation of the manuscript.

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Mastaglia, S., Mautalen, C., Parisi, M. et al. Vitamin D2 dose required to rapidly increase 25OHD levels in osteoporotic women. Eur J Clin Nutr 60, 681–687 (2006).

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