Vitamin D3 supplementation (4000 IU/d for 1 y) eliminates differences in circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D between African American and white men

Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):332-6. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.034256. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Background: African Americans suffer disproportionately from diabetes and cardiovascular disease and are significantly more likely to have suboptimal concentrations of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. The results of epidemiologic and observational studies suggest that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of cardiometabolic disorders, which underscores the importance of maintaining healthy concentrations of 25(OH)D.

Objective: The objective was to investigate whether daily supplementation with 4000 IU vitamin D(3) for 1 y would eliminate any disparities in circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D between African American and white men.

Design: Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured every 2 mo in 47 subjects who received a daily oral dose of 4000 IU vitamin D(3) for 1 y.

Results: More than 90% of African Americans had serum concentrations of 25(OH)D <32 ng/mL, and approximately two-thirds had serum concentrations <20 ng/mL. Furthermore, there were significant disparities in serum concentrations of 25(OH)D between African American and white men. Supplementation with 4000 IU/d for 1 y eliminated any significant differences in circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D between African American and white men.

Conclusion: The results of this clinical study show the feasibility and efficacy of this approach in the elimination of hypovitaminosis D, which is a widespread health disparity among African Americans. This trial was registered at as NCT01045109.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Black or African American
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / ethnology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology
  • White People


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Associated data