ABSTRACT: There is a controversy regarding the definition of vitamin D insufficiency as it relates to bone health.
The objective of the study was to examine the evidence for a threshold value of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) that defines vitamin D insufficiency as it relates to bone health.
This was a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data in 488 elderly Caucasian women, mean age 71 yr, combined with a literature review of 70 studies on the relationship of serum PTH to serum 25OHD.
The study was conducted in independent-living women in the midwest United States.
The relationship between serum 25OHD, serum PTH, and serum osteocalcin and 24-h urine N-telopeptides was evaluated.
Serum PTH was inversely correlated with serum 25OHD (r = -0.256, P < 0.0005), but no threshold as defined by suppression of serum PTH was found within the serum 25OHD range 6-60 ng/ml (15-150 nmol/liter). However, in contrast, there was a threshold for bone markers, serum osteocalcin and urine N-telopeptides, that increased only below a serum 25OHD of approximately 18 ng/ml (45 nmol/liter). Calcium absorption was not correlated with serum PTH and serum 25OHD, and no threshold was found. A literature review of 70 studies generally showed a threshold for serum PTH with increasing serum 25OHD, but there was no consistency in the threshold level of serum 25OHD that varied from 10 to 50 ng/ml (25-125 nmol/liter).
Vitamin D insufficiency should be defined as serum 25OHD less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/liter) as it relates to bone.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 03/2011; 96(3):E436-46. · 6.50 Impact Factor