Supplementation with vitamin D does not increase serum testosterone levels in healthy males

Horm Metab Res. 2013 Sep;45(9):675-81. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1345139. Epub 2013 May 17.


Cross-sectional studies indicate a positive relation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and testosterone. It is not known if this relation is causal, which in theory could be in both directions. A cross-sectional population based study was designed with pooled data from 3 vitamin D randomized clinical trials (RCTs) performed in Tromsø with weight reduction, insulin sensitivity, and depression scores as endpoints, and one testosterone RCT in subjects with low serum testosterone (<11.0 nmol/l) and with body composition as endpoint. Serum 25(OH)D and androgens were measured in 893 males in the cross-sectional part, at baseline and after 6-12 months of supplementation with vitamin D 20 000 IU-40 000 IU per week vs. placebo in the vitamin D RCTs (n=282), and at baseline and after one year treatment with testosterone undecanoate 1 000 mg or placebo injections (at baseline and after 6, 16, 28, and 40 weeks) in the testosterone RCT (n=37). In the cross-sectional study, serum 25(OH)D was found to be a significant and positive predictor of serum testosterone. In the vitamin D RCTs, no significant effect on serum total or free testosterone levels was seen, and in the testosterone RCT no significant effect on serum 25(OH)D was seen. This was unchanged in sub-analyses in subjects with low serum 25(OH)D (or testosterone) levels. In conclusion, in subjects without significant vitamin D deficiency, there is no increase in serum testosterone after high dose vitamin D supplementation. Similarly, in subjects with moderately low serum testosterone levels, substitution with testosterone does not increase serum 25(OH)D.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Placebos
  • Vitamin D
  • Testosterone
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D