Background: Despite the high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in children and adolescents worldwide, the impact of vitamin D deficiency on skeletal health is unclear.
Methods: One hundred seventy-nine girls, ages 10-17 yr, were randomly assigned to receive weekly oral vitamin D doses of 1,400 IU (equivalent to 200 IU/d) or 14,000 IU (equivalent to 2,000 IU/d) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 1-yr protocol. Areal bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) at the lumbar spine, hip, forearm, total body, and body composition were measured at baseline and 1 yr. Serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and vitamin D metabolites were measured during the study.
Results: In the overall group of girls, lean mass increased significantly in both treatment groups (P < or = 0.05); bone area and total hip BMC increased in the high-dose group (P < 0.02). In premenarcheal girls, lean mass increased significantly in both treatment groups, and there were consistent trends for increments in BMD and/or BMC at several skeletal sites, reaching significance at lumbar spine BMD in the low-dose group and at the trochanter BMC in both treatment groups. There was no significant change in lean mass, BMD, or BMC in postmenarcheal girls.
Conclusions: Vitamin D replacement had a positive impact on musculoskeletal parameters in girls, especially during the premenarcheal period.