Background: Optimal vitamin D intake and its status are important not only for bone and calcium-phosphate metabolism, but also for overall health and well-being. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency as a global health problem are likely to be a risk for wide spectrum of acute and chronic illnesses.
Methods: A review of randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and other evidence of vitamin D action on various health outcomes.
Results: Adequate vitamin D status seems to be protective against musculoskeletal disorders (muscle weakness, falls, fractures), infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, several types of cancer, neurocognitive dysfunction and mental illness, and other diseases, as well as infertility and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is associated with all-cause mortality.
Conclusions: Adequate vitamin D supplementation and sensible sunlight exposure to reach optimal vitamin D status are among the front line factors of prophylaxis for the spectrum of disorders. Supplementation guidance and population strategies for the eradication of vitamin D deficiency must be included in the priorities of physicians, medical professionals and healthcare policy-makers.
Keywords: 25(OH)D level; Autoimmunity; Cancer; Cardiovascular; Dementia; Falls; Fertility; Fractures; Immunity; Infancy; Infections; Mortality; Pregnancy; Vitamin D.
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