Plasma levels of vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) and vitamin D metabolites in patients with decompensated and compensated liver cirrhosis were assayed. Plasma levels of DBP in the decompensated group were significantly lower than those in the compensated group, but both were lower than the normal range. The plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) and 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] in the compensated group were within the respective normal ranges, whereas both values in the decompensated group were significantly lower than those in the compensated group. Most of 25-OH-D (higher than 96%) was confirmed to be circulated as a bound form with DBP in the plasma of not only the compensated but also the decompensated group. When vitamin D2 was given to the decompensated group, a significant increase of 1,25(OH)2D levels in the plasma could not be observed while 25-OH-D levels were increased. On the other hand, the administration of 1 alpha-hydroxyvitamin D3 (1 alpha-OH-D3) to the decompensated group caused a significant increase in the plasma levels of 1,25(OH)2D. Therefore, we suggest that the administration of 1 alpha-OH-D3 is useful for the treatment of bone disease induced by liver cirrhosis.