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Editor's Correspondence
March 22, 2010

Vitamin D Supplementation—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(6):572-573. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.45

In reply

We appreciate and would like to respond to the comments submitted by Grey et al. Their first concern is a lack of randomized trial data reporting beneficial extraskeletal effects of vitamin D supplementation for an array of chronic diseases. We agree and do not recommend vitamin D supplementation to treat any of the diseases that they mention. However, the following 3 studies conducted within the past few years support the extraskeletal benefits of vitamin D supplementation. (1) The 4-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial by Lappe et al1 involving 1179 community-dwelling postmenopausal women in which calcium supplementation (consisting of either calcium citrate [1400 mg/d] or calcium carbonate [1500 mg/d]) was compared with calcium plus 1100 IU/d of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). There was a significantly lower cancer rate in the calcium plus vitamin D group (relative risk [RR], 0.232; P < .005).1 (2) El-Hajj and colleagues2 treated 179 girls aged 10 to 17 years with the equivalent of either 200 IU or 2000 IU/d of vitamin D3 preparation over 1 year in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. They demonstrated a significant increase in lean muscle mass in both groups (P < .05). (3) Broe and colleagues3 treated nursing home residents with 800 IU/d of vitamin D2 and demonstrated a 72% lower adjusted-incidence rate ratio of falls, compared with those residents who received lower doses of vitamin D and for whom no benefit was seen.

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