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Bone Rep


An apparent vitamin D paradox, characterized by lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and higher bone mineral density, is present in black population. In contrast, blacks have higher serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D) levels. The effect of 1,25(OH)(2)D on the skeleton is not fully understood. We examined serum 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)(2)D and bone histomorphometry in 50 black and white women (25 each) matched for age, menstrual status, and BMI. Histomorphometric indices related to bone structure, remodeling and mineralization were measured in cancellous bone in iliac bone biopsies. Data analyses led to the following results: 1) serum 25(OH)D was significantly lower and 1,25(OH)(2)D was significantly higher in black than in white women, but neither blacks nor whites revealed significant correlation between these two vitamin D metabolites. 2) there was no significant difference in PTH levels between blacks and whites. 3) except for greater trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) in blacks, there were no significant differences in other histomorphometric variables between the two ethnic groups. 4) osteoid surface (OS/BS), unlabeled osteoid surface (ulOS/BS), and osteoblast surface (ObS/BS) significantly correlated with serum 1,25(OH)(2)D levels. We conclude that lower serum 25(OH)D levels in blacks do not impair bone structure and remodeling, nor decrease bone mineralization. Higher serum 1,25(OH)(2)D levels in blacks may help preserve bone mass by stimulating bone formation via increasing osteoblast number and function, but moderately inhibit terminal bone mineralization as shown by higher ulOS/BS.

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