Vitamin D receptor gene BsmI-polymorphism in Finnish premenopausal and postmenopausal women: its association with bone mineral density, markers of bone turnover, and intestinal calcium absorption, with adjustment for lifestyle factors

J Bone Miner Metab. 2002;20(6):383-90. doi: 10.1007/s007740200055.


Bone mineral density (BMD) is regulated by genetic and environmental factors. Sixty percent to 80% of bone mass is suggested to be under polygenetic control, but the role of individual genes seems to be modest. Several studies have indicated that the vitamin D receptor ( VDR) gene has a role in the regulation of BMD and bone metabolism, but the results are very controversial. We studied the associations between BsmI-polymorphism of the VDR gene and BMD and bone metabolism in 24 premenopausal (aged 22-45 years) and 69 postmenopausal (aged 48-65 years) Finnish women. The BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck and bone turnover markers were measured, and the intestinal calcium absorption was investigated, using a method based on the absorption of non-radioactive strontium. The genotype distribution was 16%, BB; 34.5%, Bb; and 49.5%, bb, which differs from the genotype distribution found in other Caucasian populations, but is similar to earlier Finnish reports. The winter value of 25-hydroxyvitamin-D (25-OH-D) was highest for the BB genotype in both age groups (analysis of covariance [ANCOVA]; premenopausal women P = 0.5, postmenopausal women P = 0.03, and for the groups combined P = 0.02). Lumbar spine BMD and intestinal strontium absorption were highest for the BB genotype in both age groups, but these results were nonsignificant. The markers of bone metabolism did not differ significantly between the VDR genotypes. The BB genotype had the best vitamin D status, which could explain the differences in calcium absorption between the genotypes. However, the conclusions of our study are limited because of the small number of subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Density / genetics*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Life Style*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Postmenopause
  • Premenopause
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / genetics*


  • Biomarkers
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Calcium