Null Results in Brief
Null Association between Vitamin D and PSA Levels among
Black Men in a Vitamin D Supplementation Trial
Paulette D. Chandler1,2, Edward L. Giovannucci2,3,4,5, Jamil B. Scott5, Gary G. Bennett7, Kimmie Ng2,8,
Andrew T. Chan2,9, Bruce W. Hollis10, Karen M. Emmons2,6, Charles S. Fuchs2,8, and Bettina F. Drake11
Background: Black men exhibit a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency as well as a higher incidence of
of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in healthy Black men.
Methods: During three winters from 2007 to 2010, 105 Black men (median age, 48.9 years) of Boston, MA
D3. At baseline and 3 months, free and total PSA was measured.
Results: With vitamin D supplementation, no significant differences in free and total PSA were observed;
free PSA, ?0.0004 ng/mL (P ¼ 0.94) and total PSA, ?0.004 ng/mL (P ¼ 0.92) for each additional 1,000 U/d of
effect of vitamin D supplementation on free or total PSA.
Impact: These findings support prior findings of no change in PSA with vitamin D supplementation and
emphasize the need for new methods to assess the influence of vitamin D supplementation on prostate cancer
prevention. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 23(9); 1944–7. ?2014 AACR.
A number of studies have suggested that low levels of
vitamin D may account for higher prostate cancer mor-
tality in Blacks (1). The major risk factors for prostate
cancer—older age, black race, and residence at northern
latitudes—are all associated with lower synthesis of vita-
min D (1). Prostate cancer cells have vitamin D receptors
that convert 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D via 1-a-hydroxylase
(1). Some studies have found that administration of 1,25
(OH)2D can slow or moderate the rate of prostate-specific
cancer (2–4). Other studies have observed no effect of
vitamin D supplementation on PSA (5, 6). To summarize,
findings about the effects of vitamin D on PSA are mixed
(7–10). Most studies, however, have assessed this associ-
ation among small (11), nonminority patient populations,
and when supplementation has been studied, the admin-
istration period has been relatively short (i.e., days or
weeks; ref. 12). To our knowledge, this is the first study
to examine the preventive benefits of vitamin D intake on
PSA levels among men without a cancer diagnosis.
Materials and Methods
This study was conducted as part of a prospective,
randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical tri-
al of vitamin D3 in a healthy Black population. The main
aim of the study was to examine the effect of daily
supplementation (placebo, 1,000 U, 2,000 U, and 4,000
U) of vitamin D3 on plasma 25(OH)D levels. All capsules
also contained 200 mg of calcium. Details of study pro-
cedures are presented elsewhere. Participants received
supplementation during early winter (November or
December) and were taken orally once daily for 3 months
(completed in February or March).
The primary endpoints of the study were changes in
total and free PSA from baseline to 3-month follow-up
(after supplementation). Total and free PSA was
cence immunoassay on the 2010 Elecsys autoanalyzer
1Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston,
3Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston,
Boston, Massachusetts.5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing,
Michigan.6Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer
Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.7Department of Psychology and Neu-
roscience, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.8Department of Med-
ical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
9Department of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Bos-
ton, Massachusetts.10Division of Pediatrics, Medical University of South
Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.11Department of Surgery, Division of
Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St.
2Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Corresponding Author: Paulette D. Chandler, Division of Preventive
Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 900 Commonwealth Avenue,
?2014 American Association for Cancer Research.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 23(9) September 2014
on September 21, 2015. © 2014 American Association for Cancer Research. cebp.aacrjournals.org Downloaded from
Published OnlineFirst June 28, 2014; DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0522