Weekly and biweekly vitamin D2 prevents vitamin D deficiency

October 26, 2009

Boston University School of Medicine researchers (BUSM) have found that 50,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, given weekly for eight weeks, effectively treats vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D2 is a mainstay for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults. Continued treatment with the same dose of vitamin D2 every other week for up to six years after the initial eight-week period prevents vitamin D deficiency from recurring with no toxicity. The BUSM study appears online in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food we eat. can lead to rickets in children and the painful osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause osteoporosis and has been linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and including influenza, according to senior author Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic and the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine.

Of the 86 patients researchers studied, 41 patients who were vitamin D deficient received eight weeks of 50,000 IU of weekly prior to starting . For those patients, the mean pre-treatment 25-hydroxyvitamin D status (25(OH)D) level was 19 ng/ml, which increased to 37 ng/ml after eight weeks of weekly therapy. These patients were then treated with 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 every other week and had a mean final 25(OH)D level of 47 ng/ml.

For the 45 patients who received only maintenance therapy of 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 every two weeks, the mean pre-treatment 25(OH)D level was 27 ng/ml and the mean final level was 47 ng/ml.

"Vitamin D2 is effective in raising 25(OH)D levels when given in physiologic and pharmacologic doses and is a simple method to treat and prevent vitamin D deficiency," said Holick, who is also director of the General Clinical Research Unit and professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at BUSM. "While treating and preventing vitamin D deficiency, these large doses of vitamin D2 do not lead to vitamin D toxicity."

According to Holick, this is the first study demonstrating the efficacy of a prescription therapy to prevent vitamin D deficiency longterm in routine clinical practice.

Source: Boston University Medical Center

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Americans misinformed about smoking

August 22, 2017
After voluminous research studies, numerous lawsuits and millions of deaths linked to cigarettes, it might seem likely that Americans now properly understand the risks of smoking.

Newly deciphered vitamin D regulatory pathway opens doors to clinical research

August 21, 2017
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have deciphered the molecular mechanisms that underpin how the synthesis of the active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidney, summing up decades of research in this ...

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abusers

August 21, 2017
"That she might seduce a helpless child into sexplay is unthinkable, and even if she did so, what harm can be done without a penis?"

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2009
why would anyone give vitamin D2 to anyone else???? This is an un-natural form of the vitamin for animals (but not for fungi) and less active than the D3 that is formed in animals on exposure to the UVb in sunlight.

The 25(OH)D they measured was really 25(OH)D2 and much less active than the real deal, 25(OH)D3.

D2 is the only prescription form of vitamin D available. D3 is available over the counter and much, much less expensive. That may explain why D2 was used.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.