Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Biomed Sci. 2013;70(4):161-72.

Vitamin D in health and disease: a literature review.

Author information

Center for Genetics and Inherited Diseases, Taibah University, Madinah Al-Munawara, Saudi Arabia.


Vitamin D, a fat-soluble prohormone, is synthesised in response to sunlight. Vitamin D requires two metabolic conversions, 25-hydroxylation in the liver and 1alpha-hydroxylation in the kidney, to become active hormone. The active form, 1alpha,25-(OH)2D, binds to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) to modulate gene transcription and regulate mineral ion homeostasis. Vitamin D plays several roles in the body, influencing bone health as well as serum calcium and phosphate levels. Furthermore, vitamin D may modify immune function, cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with numerous health outcomes, including risk of rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults, increased risk of fractures, falls, cancer, autoimmune disease, infectious disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Here, vitamin D physiology and metabolism, its genomic action and association of polymorphisms in vitamin D pathway genes with different diseases are reviewed by focusing on new findings published in the literature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center