Vitamin D supplementation is associated with slower epigenetic aging

Valentin Max Vetter, Yasmine Sommerer, Christian Humberto Kalies, Dominik Spira, Lars Bertram, Ilja Demuth*

*Corresponding author for this work
6 Citations (Scopus)


Adverse effects of low vitamin D level on mortality and morbidity are controversially discussed. Especially older people are at risk for vitamin D deficiency and therefore exposed to its potentially harmful consequences. A way of measuring differences in the biological age is through DNA methylation age (DNAm age) and its deviation from chronological age, DNAm age acceleration (DNAmAA). We previously reported on an association between vitamin D deficiency and higher 7-CpG DNAmAA in participants of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). In this study, we employ a quasi-interventional study design to assess the relationship between DNAmAA of five epigenetic clocks and vitamin D supplementation. Longitudinal data were available for 1,036 participants of BASE-II that were reexamined on average 7.4 years later in the GendAge study (mean age at follow-up: 75.6 years, SD = 3.8 years, age range: 64.9–94.1 years, 51.9% female). DNAmAA was estimated with the 7-CpG clock, Horvath’s clock, Hannum’s clock, PhenoAge, and GrimAge. Methylation data were obtained through methylation-sensitive single nucleotide primer extension (MS-SNuPE) or Illumina’s Infinium “MethylationEPIC” array. Vitamin D–deficient participants who chose to start vitamin D supplementation after baseline examination showed a 2.6-year lower 7-CpG DNAmAA (p = 0.011) and 1.3-year lower Horvath DNAmAA (p = 0.042) compared to untreated and vitamin D–deficient participants. DNAmAA did not statistically differ between participants with successfully treated vitamin D deficiency and healthy controls (p > 0.16). Therefore, we conclude that intake of vitamin D supplement is associated with lower DNAmAA in participants with vitamin D deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1847-1859
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 06.2022


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