Fortified malted milk drinks containing low-dose ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol do not differ in their capacity to raise serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in healthy men and women not exposed to UV-B.J Nutr. 2012 Jul; 142(7):1286-90.JN
Uncertainty remains regarding the efficacy of low intakes of ergocalciferol (vitamin D2 or D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3 or D3) provided in food to increase serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OH-D) metabolite concentrations when UV-B exposure is low. We recruited 40 healthy men and women into a double-blind, parallel design, randomized controlled trial. Participants received placebo or 1 of 4 experimental treatments (D2 or D3 at 5 or 10 μg/d) supplied as a malted milk drink for 4 wk during a period of minimal UV-B exposure in the UK. The primary outcome was a change in serum 25-OH-D2 and 25-OH-D3 concentrations measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem MS. The secondary outcomes were changes in concentrations of plasma parathyroid hormone and serum calcium (Ca(2+)). Baseline concentrations (geometric mean ± SD) of 25-OH-D2, 25-OH-D3, and total 25-OH-D were 3 ± 4, 32 ± 22, and 37 ± 22 nmol/L, respectively. Both D2- and D3-fortified drinks resulted in dose-dependent increases (P < 0.001) in their respective 25-OH metabolites that did not significantly differ in size. Increments from baseline compared with the placebo group following 5 and 10 μg/d of D2 were (mean ± SEM) 9.4 ± 2.5 and 17.8 ± 2.4 nmol/L for 25-OH-D2 and following 5 and 10 μg/d of D3 were 15.1 ± 4.7 and 22.9 ± 4.6 nmol/L for 25-OH-D3, respectively. There was no difference between D2 and D3 groups in the incremental AUC of their respective metabolites. These findings suggest that D2 and D3 are equipotent in increasing 25-OH-D in healthy men and women with negligible UV-B exposure.