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3 primates have higher levels of vitamin D than clothed humans, level varies between individuals – April 2015

Measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D2&3 and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2&3 by tandem mass spectrometry: A primate multispecies comparison

American Journal of Primatology, 2 APR 2015, DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22403
Toni E. Ziegler 1,2,*, Amita Kapoor 1,2, Curtis J. Hedman 1,2,3, Neil Binkley 4 and Joseph W. Kemnitz 1,2,5
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Vitamin D metabolites are widely studied for their roles in bone health, immune functions, and other potential physiologic roles in humans. However, the optimal blood levels of vitamin D metabolites are still unclear. Various methods for measuring vitamin D metabolites have been used and recently liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) has been adopted as the gold standard for vitamin D metabolite measurement. Here, we report the use of LC-MS/MS to measure 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D2&3), and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D2&3), in three laboratory nonhuman primate species:

  • common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus),
  • rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), and
  • cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis),

and compare them to humans using the same technique.
The nonhuman primates showed blood levels for 25(OH)D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 significantly higher than human values with marmosets having the highest levels. Marmoset samples showed significantly more variability among individuals than those from macaques for both metabolites, but all three nonhuman primate species exhibited large variation within species for both 25(OH)D2&3 and 1,25(OH)2D2&3. Marmoset females had significantly lower values than the males for 25(OH)D3, while rhesus males showed a significant decrease in 25(OH)D3 with age.

The most striking finding is the variation within species for vitamin D levels even in laboratory primates that have a controlled diet, UV exposure, and in some cases, genetic constraints.
Similar variation in 25(OH)D responses to a fixed dose of oral vitamin D supplementation has been reported in humans.
We suggest that these species can provide primate models for examining the factors influencing variation in the levels of vitamin D necessary for human and nonhuman primate health.

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See also VitaminDWiki

Lightly clothed humans have similar vitamin D levels to primates - click on chart for details
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