The response of elderly veterans to daily vitamin D3 supplementation of 2,000 IU: A pilot efficacy study

E. Paul Cherniack, Hermes J. Florez, Bruce W. Hollis, Bernard A Roos, Bruce R. Troen, Silvina Levis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D<32 ng/mL; HVD) in a population of elderly veterans and conduct a preliminary assessment of the efficacy of supplementation with cholecalciferol in correcting HVD. Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Setting: Geriatric clinic at the Bruce W. Carter Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, Florida. Participants: Veterans aged 70 and older. Intervention: Oral cholecalciferol 2,000 IU daily or placebo for 6 months. Measurements: Serum calcium, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and 24-hour urinary calcium. Results: Of the 34 participants who completed the study, 62% had HVD at baseline. In the treatment group, mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level rose from 28.4±7.9 ng/mL at baseline to 42.7±10.5 ng/mL at the end of the trial, but levels remained less than 32 ng/mL in three of 17 (18%) of the participants. In the placebo group, the baseline level of 27.7±8.3 ng/mL remained unchanged (28.8±8.7 ng/mL). Supplementation did not alter serum or urinary calcium levels and did not result in any adverse events. Conclusion: These initial observations suggest that, in older veterans, cholecalciferol 2,000 IU daily for 6 months is generally safe and corrects HVD in most but not all individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-290
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011


  • elderly
  • veterans
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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