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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MUSCULOSKELETAL HEALTH IN THE ELDERLY

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Title: Effect of supplemental vitamin D and calcium on serum sclerostin levels

Authors
item Dawson-Hughes, Bess -
item Harris, Susan -
item Ceglia, Lisa -
item Palermo, Nancy -

Submitted to: European Journal of Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 2014
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Citation: Dawson-Hughes, B., Harris, S., Ceglia, L., Palermo, N. 2014. Effect of supplemental vitamin D and calcium on serum sclerostin levels. European Journal of Endocrinology. 170(4):645-650.

Interpretive Summary: Serum sclerostin (a protein which can stimulate bone formation) has been inversely associated with serum 25OHD concentration (a prehormone – the measurement of which can help determine blood levels of vitamin D), but the effect of supplementation with vitamin D and calcium on serum sclerostin is unknown. Sclerostin, a compound produced by one of the bone cells, the osteocyte, inhibits bone formation. Supplementation with vitamin D and calcium lowers other bone turnover marker levels but whether it alters serum sclerostin levels has not been examined. To evaluate that, we measured serum sclerostin at baseline and after two years in 279 men and women who participated in STOP/IT, a placebo-controlled vitamin D (700 IU per day) and calcium (500 mg per day) intervention trial in men and women age 65 years and older. In the men, sclerostin levels increased over 2 years by (13.1%) in the supplemented group and decreased by10.9% in the placebo group (P = 0.005 for difference). In the women, there was no significant group difference in change in serum sclerostin. In conclusion, men and women appear to have different serum sclerostin responses to supplementation with vitamin D and calcium. The reason for this difference remains to be determined.

Technical Abstract: Serum sclerostin has been inversely associated with serum 25OHD concentration, but the effect of supplementation with vitamin D and calcium on serum sclerostin is unknown. This study was done to determine whether supplementation altered serum sclerostin levels in healthy older adults. We measured serum sclerostin at baseline and after two years in 279 men and women who participated in STOP/IT, a placebo-controlled vitamin D (700 IU per day) and calcium (500 mg per day) intervention trial in men and women age 65 years and older. Serum sclerostin levels were measured by MesoScale Discovery chemiluminescence assay. In the men, sclerostin levels increased over 2 years by 4.11 +/- 1.81 ng/L (13.1%) in the supplemented group and decreased by 3.16 +/- 1.78 ng/L (10.9%) in the placebo group (P = 0.005 for difference in change). Adjustment for season, baseline physical activity, baseline serum sclerostin and total body bone mineral content (BMC) did not substantially alter the changes. In the women, there was no significant group difference in change in serum sclerostin either before or after the above adjustments. In both sexes, supplementation significantly increased serum ionized calcium and decreased parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. In conclusion, men and women appear to have different serum sclerostin responses to supplementation with vitamin D and calcium. The reason for this difference remains to be determined.

Last Modified: 9/3/2014
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