The Effect of Bolus Vitamin D-3 Supplementation on Distal Radius Fracture Healing: A Randomized Controlled Trial Using HR-pQCT

F.L. Heyer, J.J.A. de Jong*, P.C. Willems, J.J. Arts, S.G.P. Bours, S.M.J. van Kuijk, J.A.P. Bons, M. Poeze, P.P. Geusens, B. van Rietbergen, J.P. van den Bergh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Vitamin D is an important factor in bone metabolism. Animal studies have shown a positive effect of vitamin D-3 supplementation on fracture healing, but evidence from clinical trials is inconclusive. A randomized controlled trial was performed to assess the effects of vitamin D-3 supplementation on fracture healing using HR-pQCT-based outcome parameters. Thirty-two postmenopausal women with a conservatively treated distal radius fracture were included within 2 weeks postfracture and randomized to a low-dose (N = 10) and a high-dose (N = 11) vitamin D intervention group receiving a 6-week bolus dose, equivalent to 700 and 1800 IU vitamin D-3 supplementation per day, respectively, in addition to a control group (N = 11) receiving no supplementation. After the baseline visit 1-2 weeks postfracture, follow-up visits were scheduled at 3-4, 6-8, and 12 weeks postfracture. At each visit, HR-pQCT scans of the fractured radius were performed. Cortical and trabecular bone density and microarchitectural parameters and microfinite element analysis-derived torsion, compression, and bending stiffness were assessed. Additionally, serum markers of bone resorption (CTX) and bone formation (PINP) were measured. Baseline serum levels of 25OHD(3) were <50 nmol/L in 33% of all participants and <75 nmol/L in 70%. Compared with the control group, high-dose vitamin D-3 supplementation resulted in a decreased trabecular number (regression coefficient beta: -0.22; p < 0.01) and lower compression stiffness (B: -3.63; p < 0.05, together with an increase in the bone resorption marker CTX (B: 0.062; p < 0.05). No statistically significant differences were observed between the control and low-dose intervention group. In conclusion, the bolus equivalent of 700 U/day vitamin D-3 supplementation in a Western postmenopausal population does not improve distal radius fracture healing and an equivalent dose of 1800 IU/day may be detrimental in restoring bone stiffness during the first 12 weeks of fracture healing. (c) 2021 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1492-1501
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021



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