Research carried out during the past two-decades extended the understanding of actions of vitamin D, from regulating calcium and phosphate absorption and bone metabolism to many pleiotropic actions in organs and tissues in the body. Most observational and ecological studies report association of higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations with improved outcomes for several chronic, communicable and non-communicable diseases. Consequently, numerous agencies and scientific organizations have developed recommendations for vitamin D supplementation and guidance on optimal serum 25(OH)D concentrations. The bone-centric guidelines recommend a target 25(OH)D concentration of 20ng/mL (50nmol/L), and age-dependent daily vitamin D doses of 400-800IU. The guidelines focused on pleiotropic effects of vitamin D recommend a target 25(OH)D concentration of 30ng/mL (75nmol/L), and age-, body weight-, disease-status, and ethnicity dependent vitamin D doses ranging between 400 and 2000IU/day. The wise and balanced choice of the recommendations to follow depends on one's individual health outcome concerns, age, body weight, latitude of residence, dietary and cultural habits, making the regional or nationwide guidelines more applicable in clinical practice. While natural sources of vitamin D can raise 25(OH)D concentrations, relative to dietary preferences and latitude of residence, in the context of general population, these sources are regarded ineffective to maintain the year-round 25(OH)D concentrations in the range of 30-50ng/mL (75-125nmol/L). Vitamin D self-administration related adverse effects, such as hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria are rare, and usually result from taking extremely high doses of vitamin D for a prolonged time.
Keywords: 25(OH)D; Extra-skeletal effects; Global; Pleiotropic; Recommendations; Vitamin D.
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