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Nutrients. 2013 Jan 10;5(1):111-48. doi: 10.3390/nu5010111.

Vitamin D - effects on skeletal and extraskeletal health and the need for supplementation.

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  • 1Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Diabetes, Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, 85 East Newton Street, M-1013, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, has received a lot of attention recently as a result of a meteoric rise in the number of publications showing that vitamin D plays a crucial role in a plethora of physiological functions and associating vitamin D deficiency with many acute and chronic illnesses including disorders of calcium metabolism, autoimmune diseases, some cancers, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a global pandemic. The major cause for vitamin D deficiency is the lack of appreciation that sun exposure has been and continues to be the major source of vitamin D for children and adults of all ages. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of a healthy skeleton throughout life. There remains some controversy regarding what blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be attained for both bone health and reducing risk for vitamin D deficiency associated acute and chronic diseases and how much vitamin D should be supplemented.

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