One hundred years ago, vitamin D was identified as the cause and cure of osteomalacia. This role remains firmly established. Vitamin D influences skeletal mineralization principally through the regulation of intestinal calcium absorption. It has been proposed that vitamin D has direct beneficial effects on bone (besides the prevention of osteomalacia), but these have been difficult to establish in clinical trials. Meta-analyses of vitamin D trials show no effects on bone density or fracture risk when the baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D is >40 nmol/L. A daily dose of 400 to 800 IU vitamin D3 is usually adequate to correct such deficiency.
Keywords: Bone density; Calcium; Fracture; Osteomalacia; Osteoporosis; Vitamin D.
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