Vitamin D: Update 2013: From rickets prophylaxis to general preventive healthcare

Dermatoendocrinol. 2013 Jun 1;5(3):331-47. doi: 10.4161/derm.26738. Epub 2013 Nov 5.


Vitamin D has received a lot of attention recently as a result of a meteoric rise in the number of publications showing that vitamin D plays a crucial role in a plethora of physiological functions and associating vitamin D deficiency with many acute and chronic illnesses including disorders of calcium metabolism, autoimmune diseases, some cancers, type 2 diabetes mellitus, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease. The recent data on vitamin D from experimental, ecological, case-control, retrospective and prospective observational studies, as well as smaller intervention studies, are significant and confirm the sunshine vitamin's essential role in a variety of physiological and preventative functions. The results of these studies justify the recommendation to improve the general vitamin D status in children and adults by means of a healthy approach to sunlight exposure, consumption of foods containing vitamin D and supplementation with vitamin D preparations. In general, closer attention should therefore be paid to vitamin D deficiency in medical and pharmaceutical practice than has been the case hitherto.

Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; atopic dermatitis; autoimmune diseases; cancer; cardiovascular diseases; degenerative brain disease; diabetes mellitus; drugs; gene expression; hypertension; osteoporosis; respiratory tract infection; vitamin D; vitamin D deficiency.

Publication types

  • Review