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Dietary Intake of Vitamin D in Premenopausal, Healthy Vegans was Insufficient to Maintain Concentrations of Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Intact Parathyroid Hormone Within Normal Ranges During the Winter in Finland

  • TERHI AULIKKI OUTILA
    Affiliations
    C. J. E. Lamberg-Allardt (corresponding author), T. A. Outila, M. U. M. Kärkkäinen, and R. H. Seppänen are with the Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, Calcium Research Unit, University of Helsinki, PO Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • MERJA ULLA MARGAREETTA KÄRKKÄINEN
    Affiliations
    C. J. E. Lamberg-Allardt (corresponding author), T. A. Outila, M. U. M. Kärkkäinen, and R. H. Seppänen are with the Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, Calcium Research Unit, University of Helsinki, PO Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • RIITTA HELENA SEPPÄNEN
    Affiliations
    C. J. E. Lamberg-Allardt (corresponding author), T. A. Outila, M. U. M. Kärkkäinen, and R. H. Seppänen are with the Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, Calcium Research Unit, University of Helsinki, PO Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • CHRISTEL JOHANNA EMILIA LAMBERG-ALLARDT
    Affiliations
    C. J. E. Lamberg-Allardt (corresponding author), T. A. Outila, M. U. M. Kärkkäinen, and R. H. Seppänen are with the Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, Calcium Research Unit, University of Helsinki, PO Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
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      Abstract

      Objective To study vitamin D status and bone metabolism of premenopausal vegetarians and omnivores during a 1-year period.
      Design Longitudinal, observational study. Bone mineral density was measured, blood samples from fasting subjects were obtained, and 24-hour urinary samples were collected in February 1994, August 1994, and January 1995. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [S-25(OH)D] and intact parathyroid hormone (Si-PTH) concentrations were measured and intestinal calcium absorption was estimated. Dietary intakes of vitamin D and calcium were calculated.
      Subjects/setting Six vegans, 6 lactovegetarians, and 16 omnivores living in Helsinki, Finland.
      Statistical analyses performed Student-Newman-Keuls test; unbalanced, repeated-measures multiple analysis of variance; analysis of covariance; Pearson correlation test; and linear regression analysis.
      Results Dietary intake of vitamin D was significantly lower in vegans (P<.05, yearly mean±standard deviation=0.09± 0.06 μg/day) and in lactovegetarians (P<.05, 0.7±0.4 μg/ day) compared with omnivores (4.0±2.1 (μg/day). Throughout the year S-25(OH)D (P=.01) concentrations were lower and S-iPTH (P=.01) concentrations were higher in vegans than in omnivores and lactovegetarians. Bone mineral density in the lumbar region of the spine was lower in vegans (yearly mean±standard deviation=1.034±0.174 g/ cm2) than in omnivores (P=.05, 1.177±0.099 g/cm2) and tended to be lower than that in lactovegetarians (P=.17, 1.138±0.06 g/cm2). Bone mineral density in the neck of the femur tended to be lower in vegans (0.843±0.116 g/cm2) than in omnivores (P=.07, 0.999±0.138 g/cm2) and lactovegetarians (P=.15, 0.961±0.059 g/cm2). No seasonal variation was found in bone mineral density in the study groups.
      Conclusions At northern latitudes, dietary intake of vitamin D in vegans was insufficient to maintain S-25(OH)D and S-iPTH concentrations within normal ranges in the winter, which seems to have negative effects on bone mineral density in the long run.
      Applications An increase in vitamin D intake should generally be recommended for vegans at least during winter, or selections of foodstuffs fortified with vitamin D should be broadened in northern latitudes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000; 100:434-441.
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