Research

Just as the interests of the Vitamin D Research Centre members are broad and far-reaching, so too are the potential consequences of vitamin D deficiency.

Current and upcoming studies

Preschoolers & Vitamin D: Te Ra Whakaora

A survey of the vitamin D status of New Zealand pre-schoolers (2 – 4 years incl.) and its relationship with the incidence of respiratory diseases, eczema and allergy. Children were recruited during August and September 2012 and blood spots from a finger-prick were used for the vitamin D analysis. This study is funded by a grant from the New Zealand Health Research Council.

More information - http://terawhakaora.massey.ac.nz 

The Sunflower Study

A randomised, placebo controlled vitamin D supplementation trial in adolescent female ballet dancers investigating the effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength, bone health and winter illness. Young dancers, aged 13 – 18 years will be recruited for the 12-month study from late March 2012. This study is funded by a Massey University Research Fund grant. For information on this study contact Dr Pamela von Hurst, P.R.vonhurst@massey.ac.nz

Well-LAD Study

Massey University is conducting a study investigating wellness, lifestyle and diet (The Well-LaD Study) in New Zealand men aged 40-70 years, with a focus on erectile dysfunction as a marker for subclinical cardiovascular disease.

Our aim is to determine the prevalence and severity of erectile dysfunction in New Zealand men and its relationship to dietary and lifestyle factors, highlighting areas for effective intervention. Vitamin D is one potential area for intervention that could have dramatic effects on male sexual function with the added benefit of reduced risk and/or slowed progression of cardiovascular disease.

Men in the Palmerston North region are being recruited for this study.

More information: Well-LaD study website

Psoriasis vitamin D supplementation trial

A randomised, placebo controlled vitamin D supplementation trial investigating the effect of improving vitamin D status on severity of symptoms in adults with psoriasis. Adults 18 years plus living in Auckland are currently being recruited for this study.

More information http://psoriasis.massey.ac.nz

The Middle Eastern Women’s Health study

Part one: An investigation of the vitamin D status and potential risk factors for vitamin D deficiency in Middle Eastern women. This is a pilot study to determine inclusion/exclusion criteria for a larger study planned for 2013. Recruitment for this study is planned to commence in May 2012 and women of Middle Eastern ethnicity over the age of 20 and living in Auckland, are invited to contact the researcher, Hajar Mazahery at the Human Nutrition Research Unit, Massey University, Auckland. 09 414 0800, ext 41173.

International studies

Professor Marlena Kruger has conducted two trials, one in Jakarta, Indonesia, and one in Manila, Philippines, during 2007-2008 investigating the effect of vitamin D and calcium fortified milk on bone markers in post-menopausal women.  The results of these trials have been published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, she is currently co-investigator in the PURE-BONE study, being conducted in South Africa. In this study, 1300 Black South African women are being monitored over 5 years for nutritional status, vitamin D status and bone health

Recently completed studies

Surya Study Phase 1

The vitamin D status of South Asian women living in New Zealand – an assessment of the vitamin D status of South Asian women living in Auckland, their attitudes towards sun exposure, their diet and bone health.

Surya Study Phase 2

One of the first vitamin D randomised controlled trials in the world looking at a health outcome other than bone, the Surya Study demonstrated that the improvement of vitamin D status in women who were vitamin D deficient and insulin resistant could also improve insulin sensitivity. The positive findings of the Surya Study have attracted considerable attention around the world.

Kalya Study

The Kalya Study explored the vitamin D status, bone health and muscle strength of young women (20-29 years) of European, Chinese, Korean and South Asian ethnicities living in Auckland. The study was initiated in response to findings of very poor bone mineral density in young women in the Surya Study.

The Mothers and Health Professionals vitamin D study

A nation-wide survey of the attitudes, knowledge and behaviours of 9000 mothers of young children, and the health professionals who interact with them.

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