Research Article

Vitamin D supplements and 25-hydroxy vitamin D concentrations in the elderly.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 01 October 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:859
  1. W J MacLennan,
  2. J C Hamilton


    Serial 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OHD) concentrations were measured in long-stay geriatric patients treated with vitamin D. Comparison between a treatment and a control group showed that a daily dose of 500 IU vitamin D produced a significant increase in 25-OHD levels by two months. The supplement had a striking effect when the initial 25-OHD level was low and very little effect when it was high. 25-OHD levels in subjects on 2000 IU vitamin D daily were only marginally higher than those in subjects on 500 IU. A dose of 500 IU vitamin D daily should therefore produce adequate blood 25-OHD concentrations in most old people, and probably prevent most cases of osteomalacia in the elderly--though a large-scale study is needed to confirm this.