November 2011


Primary hyperparathyroidism

Is vitamin D supplementation safe?

Volume 40, No.11, November 2011 Pages 881-884

Wayne Rankin


Vitamin D deficiency is commonly seen in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. However, there is a widespread reluctance to provide vitamin D supplementation to this group of patients.


This article examines the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and primary hyperparathyroidism and the effects of vitamin D supplementation.


Vitamin D deficiency exacerbates primary hyperparathyroidism and vice versa. With care, vitamin D supplementation can safely be given to selected patients with asymptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism and is suggested before deciding on medical or surgical management. Monitoring serum calcium concentration and urinary calcium excretion is recommended while achieving vitamin D repletion.

In recent years vitamin D deficiency and supplementation have received considerable attention, not only in the context of bone health, but also with regard to overall physical and mental functioning.1 One patient population targeted for vitamin D supplementation, older individuals at risk of osteoporosis, is also the population in which primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is most prevalent. As vitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) are both calciotropic hormones that increase serum calcium concentration, the question arises: is it safe to provide vitamin D supplementation in vitamin D deficient individuals with known primary hyperparathyroidism?

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