Associations of vitamin D status and vitamin D-related polymorphisms with sex hormones in older men

R. Rafiq, N. M. van Schoor, E. Sohl, M. C. Zillikens, M. M. Oosterwerff, L. Schaap, P. Lips, R. T. de Jongh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Evidence regarding relationships of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) with sex hormones and gonadotropin concentrations remains inconsistent. Polymorphisms in vitamin D-related genes may underly these relationships. Our aim was to examine the relationship of vitamin D status and polymorphisms in vitamin D-related genes with sex hormone and gonadotropin levels.

DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: We analysed data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, an ongoing population-based cohort study of older Dutch individuals (65-89 years). We included data of men with measurements of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) (n=643) and determination of vitamin D-related gene polymorphisms (n=459). 25(OH)D concentrations were classified into four categories: <25, 25-50, 50-75 and >75nmol/L. Outcome measures were total testosterone, calculated bioavailable and free fraction testosterone, SHBG, estradiol, LH and FSH concentrations. Hypogonadism was defined as a total testosterone level <8.0nmol/L.

RESULTS: Serum 25(OH)D was positively associated with total and bioavailable testosterone levels. After adjustments for confounders, men with serum 25(OH)D less than 25 (n=56), 25-50 (n=199) and 50-75nmol/L (n=240) had lower total testosterone levels compared to men with serum 25(OH)D higher than 75nmol/L (n=148) (β (95% confidence interval): -2.1 (-3.7 to -0.4nmol/L), -0.8 (-1.9 to 0.4nmol/L) and -1.4 (-2.4 to -0.3nmol/L), respectively). For bioavailable testosterone the association was significant only for men with serum 25(OH)D less than 25nmol/L (-0.8 (-1.4 to -0.1nmol/L)) compared to men with serum 25(OH)D >75nmol/L. Serum 25(OH)D was not related to SHBG, estradiol or gonadotropin levels. Hypogonadism (n=29) was not associated with lower serum 25(OH)D. No significant differences were found in hormone levels between the different genotypes of the vitamin D-related gene polymorphisms. Also, the polymorphisms did not modify the relationships of serum 25(OH)D with sex hormones or gonadotropins.

CONCLUSION: Vitamin D status is positively associated with testosterone levels. No association was found between vitamin D-related gene polymorphisms and hormone levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Gonadotropins
  • Journal Article
  • Polymorphisms
  • Review
  • Sex hormones
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D receptor

Cite this