Vitamin D supplementation reduces thyroid peroxidase antibody levels in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease: An open-labeled randomized controlled trial

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. May-Jun 2016;20(3):391-8. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.179997.


Background and aims: Although Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disorders (AITD), the impact of Vitamin D supplementation on thyroid autoimmunity is not known. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of Vitamin D supplementation on thyroid autoimmunity (thyroid peroxidase antibody [TPO-Ab] titers) in patients with newly diagnosed AITD in a randomized controlled trial.

Materials and methods: One hundred two patients with newly diagnosed AITD (TPO-Ab > 34 kIU/L and/or sonographic evidence of thyroiditis) patients were randomized into Group-1 (intervention group) and Group-2 (control group). Group-1 received cholecalciferol 60,000 IU weekly and calcium 500 mg/day for 8 weeks; Group-2 received calcium 500 mg/day for 8 weeks. Responders were defined as ≥25% fall in TPO-Ab titers. Individuals with at least 3-month follow-up were analyzed. Trial is registered at (CTRI/2015/04/005713).

Results: Data from 100 AITD patients (68 with thyroid stimulating hormone [TSH] ≤10 mIU/L, 32 with TSH > 10 mIU/L), 93% having Vitamin D insufficiency, were analyzed. TPO-Ab titers were highest among patients in the lowest 25-hydroxyvitamin D quartile (P = 0.084). At 3 months follow-up, there was significant fall in TPO-Ab in Group-1 (-46.73%) as compared to Group-2 (-16.6%) (P = 0.028). Sixty-eight percentage patients in Group-1 were responders compared to 44% in Group-2 (P = 0.015). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed significantly higher response rate in Group-1 (P = 0.012). Significantly greater reduction in TPO-Ab titers was observed in AITD with TSH ≤ 10 mIU/L compared to TSH > 10 mIU/L. Cox regression revealed Group-1 followed by TPO-Ab and free tetraiodothyronine levels to be a good predictor of response to therapy (P = 0.042, 0.069, and 0.074, respectively).

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation in AITD may have a beneficial effect on autoimmunity as evidence by significant reductions in TPO-Ab titers.

Keywords: Autoimmune hypothyroidism; Vitamin D; autoimmunity; thyroid peroxidase antibody; thyroiditis.