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Nutr Clin Pract. 2007 Jun;22(3):305-22.

Vitamin d and its role in cancer and immunity: a prescription for sunlight.

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Integrative GI Nutrition Services, Capsule Endoscopy, Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Vitamin D has been recognized for more than a century as essential for the normal development and mineralization of a healthy skeleton. More extensive roles for vitamin D were suggested by the discovery of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in tissues that are not involved in calcium and phosphate metabolism. VDR has been discovered in most tissues and cells in the body and is able to elicit a wide variety of biologic responses. These observations have been the impetus for a reevaluation of the physiologic and pharmacologic actions of vitamin D. Here, we review the role of vitamin D in regulation of the immune system and its possible role in the prevention and treatment of cancer and immune-mediated diseases.

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