Vitamin D-fortified cooking oil is an effective way to improve vitamin D status: an institutional efficacy trial

  • Bahareh Nikooyeh
  • Azizollaah Zargaraan
  • Ali Kalayi
  • Nastaran Shariatzadeh
  • Maliheh Zahedirad
  • Ali Jamali
  • Marzieh Khazraie
  • Bruce Hollis
  • Tirang R. NeyestaniEmail author
Original Contribution



High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (VDD) justifies a cost-effective and sustainable strategy to combat VDD in the community. This study was undertaken for the first time to evaluate the efficacy of daily consumption of vitamin D fortified sunflower oil with a meal.


This single-blind trial was conducted in two separate institutions: one as intervention (D-fortified sunflower oil) group (DO, n1 = 39) and the other as control (unfortified sunflower oil) group (SO, n2 = 33). Participants consumed their lunches cooked either with D-fortified or unfortified cooking sunflower oil (500 IU/30 g) for 12 weeks. Dietary, anthropometric and biochemical assessments were done for all participants before and after the intervention.


A total of 65 subjects from both sexes aged 32.5 ± 4 years completed the intervention period. Serum 25(OH)D showed a significant increase in DO and a decrease in SO group (8.8 ± 9.3 vs. − 7.4 ± 6.4 ng/mL, p < 0.001). The rise in serum 25(OH)D in DO group was accompanied by a significant decrease in iPTH (DO: − 10.2 ± 29.4 vs. SO: + 9.2 ± 29.5 pg/mL; p = 0.009). A significant reduction in weight (p = 0.004), BMI (p = 0.029), waist girth (p < 0.001), serum total cholesterol (p = 0.0290) and LDL-C (p = 0.010) was observed in DO, as compared with SO group.


Cooking oil can be considered as an efficacious vehicle for mass fortification program to combat VDD. The improvement of vitamin D status may bring about betterment of certain cardiometabolic risk factors.

Registration number NCT03826654.


Vitamin D Fortification Sunflower oil Efficacy trial 



Present study was supported by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Both D-fortified and regular sunflower oils were produced and donated by Kourosh Industry with the special assistance and support of the managing director, Mr. Kourosh Montasar. We thank all the participants who sincerely helped us to conduct this project. All laboratory bench works were performed at the Laboratory of Nutrition Research, NNFTRI. We also appreciate Mrs. Marjan Rismanchi for her assistance in laboratory tests.

Author contributions

The authors’ responsibilities were as follows—TRN and BN: designed and supervised the study. TRN, BN, AK, NS, MZ: were involved in all stages of the research, including all laboratory bench works; AZ, AJ and MK: were involved in field works. TRN, BN and BH: interpreted the data and prepared the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahareh Nikooyeh
    • 1
  • Azizollaah Zargaraan
    • 2
  • Ali Kalayi
    • 1
  • Nastaran Shariatzadeh
    • 1
  • Maliheh Zahedirad
    • 1
  • Ali Jamali
    • 3
  • Marzieh Khazraie
    • 4
  • Bruce Hollis
    • 5
  • Tirang R. Neyestani
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Nutrition Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute and Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food TechnologyShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Food and Nutrition Policy and Planning Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute and Faculty of Nutrition and Food ScienceShahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health ServicesTehranIran
  3. 3.Laboratory of Quality ControlKourosh Food IndustryTehranIran
  4. 4.Quality Assurance UnitKourosh Food IndustryTehranIran
  5. 5.Division of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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