Significant monthly doses of vitamin D decreased
hormonal changes that lead to bone loss among HIV patients assigned tenofovir,
according to an NIH press release.
What weve found suggests vitamin D could be
used to counteract one of the major concerns about using tenofovir to treat
HIV, said Rohan Hazra, MD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development. People in their teens
and 20s may be on anti-HIV treatment for decades to come, so finding a safe and
inexpensive way to protect their long-term bone health would be a major
The study included 200 participants aged 18 to 25 years
assigned tenofovir or other forms of anti-HIV treatment. Participants were
administered a monthly 50,000-unit dose of vitamin D or placebo. The
recommended daily dose of vitamin D is 600 units.
At the end of 3 months, researchers observed a 14%
decrease in parathyroid hormone levels among participants assigned tenofovir,
whereas no decrease was observed among those assigned other types of anti-HIV
No adverse effects from vitamin D were observed.
A follow-up study will be conducted to examine the
long-term safety of vitamin D in a similar group of HIV-infected youth assigned
antiretroviral regimens containing tenofovir and to determine whether the
changes in parathyroid hormone result in improvements in bone density,
according to the press release.