Vitamin D Sources, Metabolism, and Deficiency: Available Compounds and Guidelines for Its Treatment

Metabolites. 2021 Apr 20;11(4):255. doi: 10.3390/metabo11040255.


Studies on vitamin/hormone D deficiency have received a vast amount of attention in recent years, particularly concerning recommendations, guidelines, and treatments. Moreover, vitamin D's role as a hormone has been confirmed in various enzymatic, metabolic, physiological, and pathophysiological processes related to many organs and systems in the human body. This growing interest is mostly due to the evidence that modest-to-severe vitamin D deficiency is widely prevalent around the world. There is broad agreement that optimal vitamin D status is necessary for bones, muscles, and one's general health, as well as for the efficacy of antiresorptive and anabolic bone-forming treatments. Food supplementation with vitamin D, or the use of vitamin D supplements, are current strategies to improve vitamin D levels and treat deficiency. This article reviews consolidated and emerging concepts about vitamin D/hormone D metabolism, food sources, deficiency, as well as the different vitamin D supplements available, and current recommendations on the proper use of these compounds.

Keywords: bone; calcifediol; calcitriol; cholecalciferol; fracture; osteoporosis; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review