Osteoporosis International

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 1935–1941 | Cite as

Effects of 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and its change on parathyroid hormone in premenopausal Chinese women

  • C. J. BaconEmail author
  • J. Woo
  • E. M. C. Lau
  • C. W. K. Lam
  • G. D. Gamble
  • I. R. Reid
Original Article



Optimal levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were investigated in premenopausal Chinese women. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) change at 3 months was associated with change in 25(OH)D but not with baseline levels, and PTH fell even when starting levels of 25(OH)D were >40 nmol/L, consistent with optimal values for 25(OH)D of ≥40 nmol/l.


The upper level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] which constitutes a long-term bone health risk by causing elevated PTH levels is uncertain. Although many studies have addressed this question using cross-sectional data, the present study is one of few employing a prospective approach to determine 25(OH)D levels required to minimize PTH.


Relationships among baseline values and 3-month changes (Δ) in PTH and 25(OH)D were assessed in 221 Chinese women, aged 28.0 ± 4.4 years (mean ± SD), taking part in a placebo-controlled dairy product intervention delivering 200 IU vitamin D3/day.


Baseline 25(OH)D was 34 ± 11 nmol/L and was inversely related to baseline PTH (r = −0.18, P = 0.007), with a plateau in PTH levels when 25(OH)D was >40 nmol/L. After 3 months intervention, PTH fell 11% and neither Δ25(OH)D nor ΔPTH differed between treatment and control groups. ΔPTH was inversely related to Δ25(OH)D (P < 0.001) but not to baseline 25(OH)D. Similarly, ΔPTH differed between quartiles of Δ25(OH)D (P < 0.001), but not between quartiles of baseline 25(OH)D and no interaction was observed between quartiles of baseline 25(OH)D and Δ25(OH)D. Even in the highest quartile of baseline 25(OH)D (>40 nmol/L), PTH fell 0.4 ± 0.1 pmol/L (mean ± SEM; P = 0.008).


We conclude that vitamin D deficiency is common in young women in Hong Kong. The cross-sectional analysis indicates that optimal 25(OH)D is >40 nmol/L, and the longitudinal data is consistent with a higher optimal value which is not defined in this study’s results.


Cholecalciferol Fortification Milk Osteoporosis 



This study was supported by Fonterra Brands Ltd, Auckland.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Bacon
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • J. Woo
    • 2
  • E. M. C. Lau
    • 3
  • C. W. K. Lam
    • 4
  • G. D. Gamble
    • 1
  • I. R. Reid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Medicine and TherapeuticsThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.Hong Kong Orthopaedic and Osteoporosis Center for Treatment and ResearchHong KongChina
  4. 4.Department of Chemical PathologyThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  5. 5.Clinical Bone Research, Level 3 Support Building, ACHUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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