Many types of vitamin supplements are available on the market, but little is known about whether cholecalciferol obtained from fat-containing capsules differs in bioavailability from that of solid tablets. Our objective was to test whether 4 weeks of daily supplementation with 10 μg cholecalciferol given as a fish oil capsule produces a larger increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) concentration compared with the same dose of cholecalciferol given as a multivitamin tablet. A total of seventy-four healthy subjects aged 19–49 years were initially included and fifty-five of these completed the study and fulfilled the inclusion criteria. After completing a self-administered questionnaire about diet and sunshine exposure and having a non-fasting venous blood sample drawn, participants were randomised to receive daily multivitamin tablets (n 28) or fish oil capsules (n 27), each containing equal doses of cholecalciferol. A second blood sample was drawn after 28 d. Mean baseline s-25(OH)D was 40·3 (sd 22·0) nmol/l in the multivitamin group and 48·5 (24·8) nmol/l in the fish oil group. When controlling for baseline s-25(OH)D, mean 4-week increase in s-25(OH)D was 35·8 (95 % CI 30·9, 40·8) nmol/l in the multivitamin group and 32·3 (95 % CI 27·3, 37·4) nmol/l in the fish oil group; the mean difference was 3·5 (95 % CI − 3·6, 10·6) nmol/l (P = 0·33). The results were unaltered by statistical adjustment for BMI, ethnic background, age and sex. We conclude that fish oil capsules and multivitamin tablets containing 10 μg cholecalciferol administered over a 4-week period produced a similar mean increase in s-25(OH)D concentration.
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