Vitamin D

Kendall Moseley, M.D., Todd T. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.


  • Estimated that over 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency[7].
  • Frank vitamin D deficiency in children (rickets) or adults (osteomalacia) remains rare in developed countries.
  • Studies ongoing to determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM); preliminary data suggests prevalence may be as high as 30% in T2DM[13].
  • Vitamin D optimizes intestinal calcium and phosphorus absorption to maintain skeletal mineral content.
  • Sources of vitamin D include sunlight exposure, dietary intake, dietary supplements.
  • Vitamin D derived from sunlight or dietary sources metabolized in the liver to form 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D metabolized by 1-alpha-hydroxylase in kidneys to active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)D)
  • Vitamin D deficiency in adults can lead to development of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and/or osteomalacia; muscle weakness; and increased risk of fractures and falls.
  • Vitamin D may have other roles in human health including modulation of immune function and reduction of inflammation, though studies are ongoing.
  • Interaction between vitamin D status and other conditions including cardiovascular health, cancer, pregnancy outcomes amd neuromuscular/neuropsychiatric function is not yet well elucidated.

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Last updated: January 5, 2017