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Assessment of vitamin D status in male osteoporosis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ziad Al-Oanzi, Dr Stephen Tuck, Dr David Cook, Emeritus Professor Roger Francis, Dr Harish Datta


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Background: Clinical assessment of vitamin D status often relies on measuring total circulating 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 (25OHD 3), but much of each vitamin D metabolite is bound to plasma vitamin D-binding protein (DBP), such that the percentage of free vitamin is very low. We hypothesized that measurement of free rather than total 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] and 25OHD3 may provide better assessment of vitamin D status. We therefore aimed to assess vitamin D status in men with idiopathic osteoporosis, in whom possible secondary causes of osteoporosis had been excluded, and to determine the extent of change in biologically active "free" vitamin D caused by variation in plasma DBF concentrations. Methods: We measured 1,25(OH)2D3 and 25OHD3 in plasma samples from 56 men with idiopathic osteoporosis [mean (SD) age, 59.6 (13.6) years; range, 21-86 years] and 114 male controls [62.4 (10.4) years; range, 44-82 years]. Results: Mean total plasma 25OHD 3 in the 56 men with osteoporosis and the 114 controls was 44.7 (21) and 43.3 (17) nmol/L, respectively; total plasma 1,25(OH)2D 3 measured in randomly selected men with osteoporosis (n = 50) and controls (n = 50) was 90 (37) and 103 (39) pmol/L, respectively. Mean plasma DBF was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in men with osteoporosis [224 (62) mg/L; n = 56] than in the controls [143 (34) mg/L; n = 114], but calculated free plasma 25OHD3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 were significantly lower in the osteoporotic men than in controls [6.1 (3.1) vs 9.1 (4.4) pmol/L (P <0.00001) and 77 (37) vs 142 (58) fmol/L (P <0.00001), respectively]. Conclusions: Measurement of total vitamin D metabolites alone, although providing a crude assessment of vitamin D status, may not give an accurate indication of the free (biologically active) form of the vitamin. The ratio of total 25OHD3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 to plasma DBF, rather than total circulating vitamin D metabolites, may provide a more useful index of biological activity. Further studies are required to substantiate this hypothesis. © 2006 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Oanzi ZH, Tuck SP, Raj N, Harrop JS, Summers GD, Cook DB, Francis RM, Datta HK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Chemistry

Year: 2006

Volume: 52

Issue: 2

Pages: 248-254

ISSN (print): 0009-9147

ISSN (electronic): 1530-8561

Publisher: American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Inc.


DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2005.059568

PubMed id: 16339300


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