Bislev, Lise Sofie; Langagergaard Rødbro, Lene; Rolighed, Lars; Sikjaer, Tanja; Rejnmark, Lars
Vitamin D supplementation is often used in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, but the role of vitamin D has lately been questioned. We aimed to investigate the effect of 3 months of daily vitamin D3 supplementation (70 µg [2800 IU] vs. placebo) initiated in winter months on bone health. This study is a double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized trial. Bone health was assessed by bone turnover markers, DXA, HRpQCT, and QCT scans. The participants were 81 healthy postmenopausal women with low 25(OH)D (< 50 nmol/l) and high PTH levels (> 6.9 pmol/l) at screening. Vitamin D3 supplementation significantly increased levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D by 59 nmol/l and 19 pmol/l, respectively, whereas PTH was reduced by 0.7 pmol/l (all p < 0.0001). Compared with placebo, vitamin D3 did not affect bone turnover markers, aBMD by DXA or trabecular bone score. Vitamin D3 increased trabecular vBMD (QCT scans) in the trochanter region (0.4 vs. − 0.7 g/cm3) and the femoral neck (2.1 vs. − 1.8 g/cm3) pall < 0.05. HRpQCT scans of the distal tibia showed reduced trabecular number (− 0.03 vs. 0.05 mm−1) and increased trabecular thickness (0.001 vs. − 0.005 mm), as well as an improved estimated bone strength as assessed by failure load (0.1 vs. − 0.1 kN), and stiffness (2.3 vs. − 3.1 kN/mm pall ≤ 0.01). Changes in 25(OH)D correlated significantly with changes in trabecular thickness, stiffness, and failure load. Three months of vitamin D3 supplementation improved bone strength and trabecular thickness in tibia, vBMD in the trochanter and femoral neck, but did not affect aBMD.