OBJECTIVE: Vitamin D status has been associated with sex steroid production. The question is whether vitamin D supplementation has an impact on sex steroid production in infertile men with vitamin D insufficiency?

DESIGN: A single-center, double-blinded, randomized clinical trial. Differences in sex steroids and reproductive hormones were predefined secondary outcomes, vitamin D status at baseline was a predefined subgroup and the primary outcome was differences in semen quality.

METHODS: A total of 307 infertile men were included and randomized 1:1 to active or placebo treatment for 150 days. Men in the active group initially received an oral bolus of 300,000 IU cholecalciferol, followed by daily supplementation with 1400 IU cholecalciferol and 500 mg calcium.

RESULTS: After intervention, no differences were found in serum concentrations of sex steroids, luteinizing hormone, testosterone/luteinizing hormone ratio or SHBG between the vitamin D and placebo group. However, in a predefined subgroup analysis of men with serum 25OHD ≤ 50 nmol/L, men treated with vitamin D had a significantly higher testosterone/luteinizing hormone ratio [4.2 (3.8-4.4) vs. 3.7 (3.4-4.0); p = 0.033] compared with placebo treatment. In men with vitamin D deficiency, the difference between groups was larger but not significant due to few men with serum 25OHD < 25 nmol/L.

CONCLUSION: Vitamin D + calcium supplementation did not alter sex steroid production in infertile men. However, vitamin D insufficient men treated with vitamin D supplementation had a significantly higher testosterone/LH ratio compared with placebo-treated men, suggesting that optimal Leydig cell function are dependent on adequate vitamin D status.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)553-560
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Leydig cells and male infertility
  • LH
  • testosterone
  • vitamin D


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