Supplemental vitamin D increases serum cytokines in those with initially low 25-hydroxyvitamin D: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study

Cytokine. 2015 Feb;71(2):132-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


The purpose of this study was to determine if vitamin D status before supplementation influences the cytokine response after supplemental vitamin D. Forty-six reportedly healthy adults (mean(SD); age, 32(7) y; body mass index (BMI), 25.3(4.5) kg/m(2); serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), 34.8(12.2) ng/mL) were randomly assigned (double blind) to one of three groups: (1) placebo (n=15), or supplemental vitamin D (cholecalciferol) at (2) 4000 (n=14) or (3) 8000IU (n=17). Supplements were taken daily for 35days. Fasting blood samples were obtained before (Baseline, Bsl) and 35-days after (35-d) supplementation. Serum 25(OH)D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)D), cytokines, and intact parathyroid hormone with calcium were measured in each blood sample. Supplemental vitamin D increased serum 25(OH)D (4000IU, ≈29%; 8000IU, ≈57%) and 1,25(OH)D (4000IU, ≈12%; 8000IU, ≈38%) without altering intact parathyroid hormone or calcium. The vitamin D metabolite increases in the supplemental vitamin D groups (n=31) were dependent on initial levels as serum 25(OH)D (r=-0.63, p<0.05) and 1,25(OH)D (r=-0.45, p<0.05) at Bsl correlated with their increases after supplementation. Supplemental vitamin D increased interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-10 in subjects that were vitamin D insufficient (serum 25(OH)D<29ng/mL) compared to sufficient (serum 25(OH)D⩾30ng/mL) at Bsl. We conclude that supplemental vitamin D increase a pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine in those with initially low serum 25(OH)D.

Keywords: 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D; Interferon-γ; Interleukin-10; Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / drug effects
  • Knee
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Time Factors
  • Torque
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Cytokines
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium