The “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) diet, rich in fiber and low-fat dairy, effectively lowers blood pressure. DASH’s effect on calcitriol and other markers of bone-mineral metabolism is unknown. This secondary analysis of the DASH trial aimed to determine the effect of dietary patterns on blood concentrations of calcitriol, parathyroid hormone (PTH), ionized calcium, and urinary excretion of calcium and phosphorus. Outcomes were available in 334 participants in the trial. After a 3-week run-in on the control diet, participants were randomized to control, fruits and vegetables (F&V), or DASH diets. Outcomes were assessed at the end of run-in, and during the last week of the intervention period. Mean age of participants was 45.7 ± 10.7 years, 46% female, and 57% African-American. Mean ± Standard Deviation(SD) baseline serum concentrations of calcitriol, PTH, and ionized calcium were 37.8 ± 9.2 pg/mL, 46.1 ± 18.5 pg/mL and 5.2 ± 0.23 mg/dL, respectively. Mean (±SD) urinary calcium and phosphorus excretions were 150.1 ± 77.8 and 708.0 ± 251.8 mg/24 h, respectively. Compared with control, DASH reduced calcitriol −3.32 pg/mL (p
= 0.004). Otherwise, there was no significant effect on other biomarkers. DASH lowered serum calcitriol perhaps more among African-Americans. These results raise important questions about the interpretation and clinical significance of low calcitriol concentrations in the setting of recommended diets.
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