VDC test kit slider

NIH study shows vitamin D may improve bone health in those taking anti-HIV drug

Posted on: January 13, 2012   by  Vitamin D Council


A recent National Institute of Health (NIH) study of adolescent suggests that vitamin D may prevent hormonal changes that lead to bone loss among patients treated for HIV with the drug tenofovir.

Tenofovir is the most commonly used drug to treat HIV, but there are significant side effects associated with the drug. It often causes symptoms that mimic those of severe vitamin D deficiency, including a significant decrease in bone density.

Researchers recruited 200 people ages 18 to 25. All participants were on either tenofovir or some form of anti-HIV treatment. Monthly, participants either took 50,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo for 3 months.

At the end of the study, parathyroid levels had fallen 14% among participants taking tenofovir in the vitamin D group, but remained unchanged in participants taking other forms of anti-HIV drugs. Parathyroid hormone stimulates calcium release from the bones.

Rohan Hazra, M.D., of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), an author of the study stated:

“What we’ve found suggests vitamin D could be used to counteract one of the major concerns about using tenofovir to treat HIV.People in their teens and twenties 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 advance.”


Havens PL, et al. Vitamin D3 decreases parathyroid hormone in HIV-infected youth being treated with tenofovir: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. Apr 2012.

Test Your Vitamin D Levels at Home!

Our in-home vitamin D test kit is easy, affordable, and an accurate way to find out your Vitamin D status.

order NOW

We need your help!

We're spreading awareness on Vitamin D Deficiency
Donate NOW
Latest Articles
What is the relationship between vitamin D and childhood UTIs?

A new study suggests vitamin D may protect against UTIs among children by upregulating their own naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides.

Weekly Newsletter

Our Sponsors

December 21st is DDAY. Click here to celebrate the day with us!