The effect of vitamin D supplementation on the bone mineral density of the femoral neck is associated with vitamin D receptor genotype

J Bone Miner Res. 1997 Aug;12(8):1241-5. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.1997.12.8.1241.


Recent studies suggest that variations of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene are related to bone mineral density (BMD). In this study, we examined the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on BMD at the femoral neck in relation to VDR genotype. We analyzed 81 women, age 70 years and over, who participated in a placebo-controlled clinical trial on the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation (400 IU daily for at least 2 years) on BMD and fracture incidence. VDR genotype was based on the presence (b) or absence (B) of the BsmI restriction site. Mean BMD of the right and left femoral neck was measured at baseline and after 1 and 2 years. Dietary calcium, body mass index, and years since menopause were assessed at baseline while biochemical markers were measured at baseline and after 1 year. There was no difference among the BB, Bb, and bb genotype for baseline measurements of BMD at the femoral neck (mean and SD, g/cm2: 0.70 (0.10), 0.71 (0.12), and 0.69 (0.10), respectively), nor for any of the biochemical indices. The mean increase of BMD in the vitamin D group relative to the placebo group, expressed as percentage of baseline BMD, was significantly higher (p = 0.03) in the BB (delta BMD: 4.4%, p = 0.04) and Bb genotype (delta BMD: 4.2%, p = 0.007) compared with the bb genotype (delta BMD: -0.3%, p = 0.61). No significant changes were found for any of the other measured parameters. The VDR genotype-dependent effect of vitamin D supplementation in these elderly subjects suggest a functional involvement of VDR gene variants in determining BMD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology*
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Femoral Neck Fractures / epidemiology
  • Femoral Neck Fractures / prevention & control
  • Femur Neck / drug effects*
  • Femur Neck / physiology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / prevention & control
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / genetics*


  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Cholecalciferol