Background: The plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D response to supplementation with vitamin D varies widely, but vitamin D absorption differences based on diet composition is poorly understood.
Objectives: We tested the hypotheses that absorption of vitamin D-3 is greater when the supplement is taken with a meal containing fat than with a fat-free meal and that absorption is greater when the fat in the meal has a higher monounsaturated-to-polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio (MUFA:PUFA).
Design: Open, three-group, single-dose vitamin D-3 comparative absorption experiment.
Participants/setting: Our 1-day study was conducted in 50 healthy older men and women who were randomly assigned to one of three meal groups: fat-free meal, and a meal with 30% of calories as fat with a low (1:4) and one with a high (4:1) MUFA:PUFA. After a 12-hour fast, all subjects took a single 50,000 IU vitamin D-3 supplement with their test breakfast meal.
Main outcome measures: Plasma vitamin D-3 was measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry before and 10, 12 (the expected peak), and 14 hours after the dose.
Statistical analyses performed: Means were compared with two-tailed t tests for independent samples. Group differences in vitamin D-3 absorption across the measurement time points were examined by analysis of variance with the repeated measures subcommand of the general linear models procedure.
Results: The mean peak (12-hour) plasma vitamin D-3 level after the dose was 32% (95% CI 11% to 52%) greater in subjects consuming fat-containing compared with fat-free meals (P=0.003). Absorption did not differ significantly at any time point in the high and low MUFA and PUFA groups.
Conclusions: The presence of fat in a meal with which a vitamin D-3 supplement is taken significantly enhances absorption of the supplement, but the MUFA:PUFA of the fat in that meal does not influence its absorption.
Keywords: Absorption; Healthy adults; Meal conditions; Vitamin D-3; Vitamin D-3 supplementation.
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