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

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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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