Sixteen-Week Vitamin D3 Supplementation Increases Peripheral T Cells in Overweight Black Individuals: Post hoc Analysis of a Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Yutong Dong, Li Chen, Ying Huang, Anas Raed, Robyn Havens, Yanbin Dong, Haidong Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D is considered to modulate T-cell function, which has been implicated in the treatment of inflammatory conditions. However, there is limited knowledge on the effects of vitamin D and its influences on circulating T-cell profiles in humans, particularly in overweight Black individuals who are more likely to be vitamin D insufficient (serum 25(OH)D concentrations of ≤20 ng/mL). Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation modulates T-cell composition, which is in a dose-dependent manner. Methods: A 16-week randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D3 supplementation was undertaken in 70 overweight/obese Black people (mean age = 26 years, 82% female) with 25 hydroxyvitamin D ≤ 20 ng/mL at baseline. Subjects were randomly assigned a supervised monthly oral vitamin D3 equivalent to approximately 600 IU/day (n = 17), 2000 IU/day (n = 18), 4000 IU/day (n = 18), or a placebo (n = 17). Fresh peripheral whole blood was collected and CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts and percentages were determined by flow cytometry at baseline and at 16 weeks, among 56 subjects who were included in the analyses. Results: A statistically significant increase in CD3+% in the 2000 IU/day vitamin D3 supplementation group, and increases in CD4+% in the 2000 IU/day and 4000 IU/day vitamin D3 supplementation groups were observed (p-values < 0.05) from the changes in baseline to 16 weeks. Further adjustments for age, sex and BMI showed that 2000 IU/day vitamin D3 supplementation increased in CD3+ count, CD3%, CD4 count, and CD4%, as compared to the placebo group (p-values < 0.05). Moreover, the highest serum 25(OH)D quantile group had the highest CD3% and CD4%. Conclusions: Sixteen-week vitamin D3 supplementation increases peripheral blood T-cell numbers and percentages in overweight/obese Black patients with vitamin D insufficiency. This resulting shift in circulating T-cell composition, particularly the increase in T helper cells (CD4+ cells), suggests that vitamin D supplementation may improve immune function in Black individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3922
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • African American
  • immune system
  • T cell
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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