July 26, 2005
MINEOLA, N.Y.--Supplementation with vitamin D3 had no bone-health benefits in African American women with adequate calcium status, according to a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (165:1618-23, 2005). In the study coordinated through the Bone Mineral Research Center at Winthrop University Hospital, 208 healthy black postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 75, received either a placebo or 20 mcg/d of vitamin D3 for two years; calcium supplements to ensure total calcium intake ranged between 1,200 mg/d and 1,500 mg/d. After two years, the vitamin D3 dose was increased to 50 mcg/d in the active group for an additional year. Bone mineral density (BMD) and markers of bone turnover were measured every six months.
The researchers found no significant differences in BMD between the active and control groups over the length of the study; in fact, both groups showed increases in BMD at one year and slight declines by three years. The researchers concluded vitamin D3 supplementation had no benefit on bone loss in this group of women, and suggested further studies are needed to determine whether the findings are applicable to other ethnic groups.
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