The aim of the the study is to compare the effects of cholecalciferol and calcitriol on bone mineral metabolism in women with vitamin D deficiency. Calcitriol was associated with a significant increase in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine in patients with low vitamin D levels.Purpose/introductionActive vitamin D analogs may have larger impact in decreasing bone loss and fracture rate compared to cholecalciferol in osteoporosis. However, their effects in the treatment of vitamin D deficiency compared to cholecalciferol are not clear. The aim of the present study is to compare the effects of cholecalciferol and calcitriol on bone mineral metabolism and bone mineral density in pre- and postmenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency.MethodsThis was a 6-month prospective, open-label, controlled clinical trial. Eligible 120 participants were pre- and postmenopausal women diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. Forty-three subjects (group 1) received 1000IU of cholecalciferol and 1g of calcium daily. The other 77 subjects (group 2) received 0.5g calcitriol in addition to 400IU of cholecalciferol and 1g of calcium daily.ResultsOral vitamin D supplementation did not increase bone mineral density after 6months of intervention in group 1. On the other hand, bone mineral density at the lumbar spine increased from 0.8090.172 to 0.848 +/- 0.161g/cm(2) in group 2 patients (p<0.017 vs baseline).ConclusionsOral daily calcitriol was associated with a significant increase in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine in patients with low vitamin D, elevated PTH, and osteoporosis.