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Effect of alendronate and vitamin D on fractional calcium absorption in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in postmenopausal osteoporotic women.

Author(s): Shapses SA, Kendler DL, Robson R, Hansen KE, Sherrell RM, Field MP, Woolf E, Berd Y, Mantz AM, Santora AC 2nd

Affiliation(s): Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. shapses@AESOP.Rutgers.edu

Publication date & source: 2011-08, J Bone Miner Res., 26(8):1836-44.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Menopause and increasing age are associated with a decrease in calcium absorption that can contribute to the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. We hypothesized that alendronate plus vitamin D(3) (ALN + D) would increase fractional calcium absorption (FCA). In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical trial, 56 postmenopausal women with 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations of 25 ng/mL or less and low bone mineral density (BMD) received 5 weekly doses of placebo or alendronate 70 mg plus vitamin D(3) 2800 IU (ALN + D). Calcium intake was stabilized to approximately 1200 mg/d prior to randomization. FCA was determined using a dual-tracer stable-calcium isotope method. FCA and 25(OH)D were similar between treatment groups at baseline (0.31 +/- 0.12 ng/mL and 19.8 +/- 4.7 ng/mL, respectively). After 1 month of treatment, subjects randomized to ALN + D experienced a significant least squares (LS) mean [95% confidence interval (CI)] increase in FCA [0.070 (0.042, 0.098)], whereas FCA did not change significantly in the placebo group [-0.016 (-0.044, 0.012)]. After ALN + D treatment, patients had higher 25(OH)D levels (LS mean difference 7.3 ng/mL, p < .001). The rise in serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (p < .02) and parathyroid hormone (p < .001) were greater in the ALN + D group than in placebo-treated patients. ALN + D was associated with an increase in FCA of 0.07. To our knowledge, there is no other trial showing such a marked rise in calcium absorption owing to treatment with a bisphosphonate or owing to a small rise in 25(OH)D. This unique response of ALN + D is important for the treatment of osteoporosis, but the exact mechanism requires further study. Copyright (c) 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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