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J Ren Nutr. 2011 Mar;21(2):134-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2010.09.002. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Vitamin D: the iceberg nutrient.

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Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.


The understanding of vitamin D's role in human health has recently expanded. It is now recognized as more than a hormone activated in the kidney only for calcium homeostasis. It is metabolized and used by virtually every cell in the body. Patients with chronic kidney disease have a deficit in their kidney production of 1,25(OH)(2)D and have classically been treated with calcitriol or its active analogues. Despite often having lower systemic levels of 1,25(OH)(2)D, patients with chronic kidney disease retain the capability of extra renal production of 1,25(OH)(2)D. This has far reaching implications for their health. This review examines clinical trials and observations in 3 areas that impact chronic kidney disease patients. Cancer, cardiovascular disease and infections are responsible for much of the morbidity and mortality in this patient population. We will discuss vitamin D's role in these disease states with a focus on the chronic kidney disease patient.

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