Although single, high doses of vitamin D effectively maintain vitamin D sufficiency in several populations, no studies have evaluated healthy adults over winter, during which vitamin D status declines. This study investigated whether high-dose vitamin D3 given once to healthy adults before winter will (1) prevent the wintertime decline in vitamin D status, (2) promote vitamin D sufficiency 1 year following the dose and (3) prevent the rise of parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations.
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we assessed plasma 25(OH)D and PTH concentrations at baseline, 5, 90 and 365 days after drug administration in 28 healthy adults. In all, >80% of subjects returned at each time point.
At baseline, the young, healthy participants had a mean plasma 25(OH)D concentration of 17.5±6.1 ng/ml. Only two subjects exhibited plasma 25(OH)D concentrations >30 ng/ml. At 5 days, subjects randomized to vitamin D3 had a higher mean plasma 25(OH)D concentration compared with the placebo group (39.1 vs 19.1 ng/ml, P<0.001). Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations returned to baseline at 90 and 365 days in the vitamin D3 group and remained unchanged in the placebo group. PTH and calcium concentrations were unrelated to changes in 25(OH)D levels and similar between groups over time.
A dose of 250 000 IU of vitamin D3 given once in November resulted in a robust increase in plasma 25(OH)D after 5 days, but it was unable to sustain this increase after 90 days. A larger or more frequent dosing regimen may be needed for long-term vitamin D sufficiency.
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This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants T32 DK007298-32S1 (JAA), K23 AR054334 (VT), K24 DK096574 (TRZ), and UL1 TR000454 (VT, TRZ). Clinical Trial Registration Number: clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01924910.
MDK and VT were responsible for the design of the study; MDK and VT recruited subjects and coordinated the study; MDK, VT, JAA and DL were responsible for data collection; JNGB and DW were responsible for statistical analysis; MDK, VT, JAA, DL, JNGB, DW and TRZ evaluated the data analysis results; MDK wrote the draft of the manuscript; and all authors contributed to revisions of the manuscript.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Kearns, M., Binongo, J., Watson, D. et al. The effect of a single, large bolus of vitamin D in healthy adults over the winter and following year: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 69, 193–197 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2014.209
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