Korean J Fam Med.  2011 Feb;32(2):89-96. 10.4082/kjfm.2011.32.2.89.

New Insight into the Action of Vitamin D

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea. ohinia@paran.com

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a pandemic with more than half of the world's population currently at risk. Traditionally, vitamin D has been associated primarily with bone and calcium metabolism. However, it is now known that adequate vitamin D status is important for optimal function of many organs and tissues throughout the body. This discovery has provided new insights into the action of vitamin D. Many epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an association between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. However, it is not enough to limit definitive conclusions. Large randomized controlled trials are needed to establish the relevance of vitamin D status to such as chronic diseases. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency can be both treated and prevented safely through supplementation. Recommendation of adequate vitamin D intake should be considered in appropriate patients to optimize general health. In this article, I review its role in skeletal and extraskeletal health and the adverse impact of vitamin D deficiency on musculoskeletal system, cardiometabolic health, immune system, and oncogenesis, and suggest strategies for prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.

Keyword

Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency; Sunlight; Cholecalciferol; Supplement

MeSH Terms

Autoimmune Diseases
Calcium
Cardiovascular Diseases
Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
Cholecalciferol
Chronic Disease
Communicable Diseases
Humans
Immune System
Musculoskeletal System
Pandemics
Sunlight
Vitamin D
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamins
Calcium
Cholecalciferol
Vitamin D
Vitamins
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