Introduction: Few studies have considered the dietary influence of vitamin D intake on bone mineral density (BMD). Numerous studies have examined the association between VDR polymorphism and BMD, but no previous study has examined the joint influence of dietary vitamin D intake and VDR polymorphism on BMD.
Methods: We therefore conducted a study in 230 men aged 41-76 years of age. BMD was measured with DXA. A second bone scan was performed on average 2.7 years after the first investigation. Dietary habits were assessed by 14 dietary 24-h recall interviews. The polyadenosine (A) VDR genotypes were determined.
Results: Dietary vitamin D intake was associated with BMD at all sites, also after multivariate adjustment. Those in the highest quintile of intake had 9% higher femoral neck BMD (p = 0.004), 6% higher BMD at the lumbar spine (p = 0.06) and 5% higher total body BMD (p = 0.003) compared to men in the lowest quintile of dietary vitamin D intake. However, the positive association between vitamin D intake and BMD was especially apparent among those with the L/L polyadenosine (A) VDR genotype explaining between 10 and 15% of the variability in BMD depending on site (p < 0.004). There was furthermore a trend, in the lumbar spine, of less reduction in BMD with increasing vitamin D intake (p = 0.07) but not at the other sites. Calcium intake conferred no association with BMD.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that the extent of positive association between dietary vitamin D intake and BMD in men is dependent on VDR polymorphism, a novel conceivable important gene-environmental interaction.