Vitamin D: newly discovered actions require reconsideration of physiologic requirements

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jun;21(6):375-84. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Feb 10.


Vitamin D is not just for preventing rickets and osteomalacia. Recent findings in animal experiments, epidemiologic studies and clinical trials indicate that adequate vitamin D levels are important for cancer prevention, controlling hormone levels and regulating the immune response. Although 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels >10 ng/ml can prevent rickets and osteomalacia, these levels are not sufficient to provide these more recently discovered clinical benefits. Rather, levels of 25OHD >30 ng/ml are generally recommended. Determining optimal levels of 25OHD and the amount of vitamin D supplementation required to achieve those levels for the numerous actions of vitamin D will only be established with additional trials. In this review, these newer applications are summarized and therapeutic considerations are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / physiology*
  • Vitamin D / physiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D