Disassociation of Vitamin D's Calcemic Activity and Non-calcemic Genomic Activity and Individual Responsiveness: A Randomized Controlled Double-Blind Clinical Trial

Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 27;9(1):17685. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53864-1.


The aims of this randomized controlled double-blind clinical trial were to assess the impact of vitamin D supplementation on calcium metabolism and non-calcemic broad gene expression by relating them to the individual's responsiveness to varying doses of vitamin D3. Thirty healthy adults were randomized to receive 600, 4,000 or 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for 6 months. Circulating parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25(OH)D, calcium and peripheral white blood cells broad gene expression were evaluated. We observed a dose-dependent increase in 25(OH)D concentrations, decreased PTH and no change in serum calcium. A plateau in PTH levels was achieved at 16 weeks in the 4000 and 10,000 IU/d groups. There was a dose-dependent 25(OH)D alteration in broad gene expression with 162, 320 and 1289 genes up- or down-regulated in their white blood cells, respectively. Our results clearly indicated that there is an individual's responsiveness on broad gene expression to varying doses of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 supplementation at 10,000 IU/d produced genomic alterations several fold higher than 4,000 IU/d even without further changes in PTH levels. Our findings may help explain why there are some inconsistency in the results of different vitamin D's clinical trials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcium / blood*
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Protein Interaction Maps / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium