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Three-year follow-up of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and bone mineral density in nursing home residents who had received 12 months of daily bread fortification with 125 μg of vitamin D3

Veronica Mocanu1* and Reinhold Vieth23

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathophysiology, Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 16 Universitatii str, Iasi 700115, Romania

2 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, VM, Canada

3 Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, RV, Canada

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:137  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-137

Published: 11 October 2013



We conducted a single-arm clinical trial in institutionalized seniors, on the effects of high-dose vitamin D3-fortified bread daily intake ( registration NCT00789503).


At 1 and 3 years after the dietary fortification was stopped, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and bone mineral density were measured in 23 of the original study subjects, aged 60-82 years who had consumed bread buns (100 g) fortified with 320 mg elemental calcium and 125 μg (5,000 IU) vitamin D3 daily for one year.


At the end of the 1-year supplementation phase (receiving vitamin D3 fortified bread daily), mean (SD) serum 25(OH)D was 127.3 ± 37.8 nmol/L (baseline for this follow-up). At 1-year follow-up, the serum 25(OH)D was 64.9 ± 24.8 nmol/L (p = 0.001, vs. baseline); and at 3-year follow-up it was 28.0 ± 15.0 nmol/L (p = 0.001 vs. baseline). Serum PTH was 18.8 ± 15.6 pg/ml at baseline while at Year 3 it was 48.4 ± 18.4 pg/ml (p = 0.001 vs. baseline). Lumbar spine BMD did not change from baseline to Year 3. However, by Year 3, hip BMD had decreased (0.927 ± 0.130 g/cm2 vs. 0.907 ± 0.121 g/cm2, p = 0.024).


Vitamin D nutritional status exhibits a long half-life in the body, and a true steady-state plateau may not even be reached 1 year after a discontinuation in dose. Furthermore, once the need for vitamin D has been established, based on a low baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations, the appropriate action is to maintain corrective vitamin D supplementation over the long term.

Trial registration

Clinical trial registration number: NCT00789503

Geriatrics; Cholecalciferol; Osteoporosis; Vitamin D deficiency; Bread fortification