Vitamin D: the underappreciated D-lightful hormone that is important for skeletal and cellular health

  title={Vitamin D: the underappreciated D-lightful hormone that is important for skeletal and cellular health},
  author={Michael F Holick},
  journal={Current Opinion in Endocrinology \& Diabetes},
  • M. Holick
  • Published 1 February 2002
  • Medicine, Biology
  • Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes
Vitamin D deficiency is more common than realized. It is making a resurgence in neonates and is common in black patients and older adults. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes generalized muscle weakness, muscle aches, and bone aches and pains but also can precipitate and exacerbate osteoporosis and cause osteomalacia. Although the kidney plays a critical role in producing 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which is important for regulating calcium, phosphorus, and bone metabolism, it is now recognized… 

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Previous studies have shown that vitamin D supplementa-tion reduces the number of fractures and directly improves neuromuscular function, thus helping to prevent falls and subsequent fractures.

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Adequate vitamin D levels may be important in reducing the incidence of, or mortality from, some cancers and in reducing autoimmune disease, and may also allow for a normal innate immune response to pathogens, improve cardiovascular function and mortality and increase insulin responsiveness.

Sunlight , vitamin D and health : A D-lightful story

Vitamin D evolved during this time into a hormone not only for regulating calcium and bone metabolism, but also for a variety of noncalcemic actions that have been related to decreasing risk of common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and heart disease.

Vitamin D: its role in cancer prevention and treatment.

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    Progress in biophysics and molecular biology
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  • Medicine, Biology
    Journal of cellular biochemistry
  • 2003
Vitamin D is one of the most potent substances to inhibit proliferation of both normal and hyperproliferative cells and induce them to mature and it is also recognized that a wide variety of tissues have the enzymatic machinery to produce 1,25(OH)2D.

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  • 2003
The insights into the new biological functions of 1,25(OH)2D in regulating cell growth, modulating the immune system andmodulating the renin-angiotensin system provides an explanation for why diminished sun exposure at higher latitudes is associated with increased risk of dying of many common cancers, developing type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and having a higher incidence of hypertension.

Vitamin D and male reproductive system

Vitamin D induces changes in the spermatozoa’s calcium and cholesterol content and in protein phosphorylation to tyrosine/threonine residues that could be involved in sperm capacitation, and seems to regulate aromatase expression in different tissues.

Rheumatology and Orthopedic Medicine The importance of vitamin D

The metabolism of vitamin D, its actions at the musculoskeletal level and the consequences of the deficiency are reviewed, as well as the necessary guidelines to establish the diagnosis and adequate treatment of supplementation are reviewed.

Vitamin D: extraskeletal health.

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    Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America
  • 2012

Vitamin d and its role in cancer and immunity: a prescription for sunlight.

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  • 2007
The role of vitamin D in regulation of the immune system and its possible role in the prevention and treatment of cancer and immune-mediated diseases is reviewed.



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  • M. Holick
  • Medicine, Biology
    Osteoporosis International
  • 1998
It is believed that 1,25(OH) 2D is the biological form of vitamin D that is responsible for most, if not all, ofitamin D’s action on calcium and bone metabolism.

Vitamin-D synthesis and metabolism after ultraviolet irradiation of normal and vitamin-D-deficient subjects.

Monitoring changes in serum concentrations of vitamin D and its metabolites, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) and 1,25-dihydroxyv vitamin D (1,25-(OH)2-D), over a three-week period in normal subjects and vitamin-D-deficient patients found that exposure to .

Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety.

  • R. Vieth
  • Medicine, Chemistry
    The American journal of clinical nutrition
  • 1999
The assembled data from many vitamin D supplementation studies reveal a curve for vitamin D dose versus serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] response that is surprisingly flat up to 250 microg (10000 IU) vitamin D/d.

Gains in Bone Mineral Density with Resolution of Vitamin D Intoxication

A survey of the utility of measuring indices of vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and thyroid hormone balance in new patients referred by their primary care providers to the Cedars-Sinai Bone Center for evaluation of possible osteoporosis or low bone mineral density found four patients were found to have hypercalciuria and elevated serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

McCollum Award Lecture, 1994: vitamin D--new horizons for the 21st century.

  • M. Holick
  • Medicine, Biology
    The American journal of clinical nutrition
  • 1994
1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol and its analogs have been developed as an effective new therapy for the treatment of the hyperproliferative skin disease psoriasis.

Evidence for alteration of the vitamin D-endocrine system in blacks.

As compared with values in white subjects, bone mass is known to be increased and urinary calcium to be diminished in black individuals. To evaluate the possibility that these changes are associated

Effects of serum calcium and phosphorus on skeletal mineralization in vitamin D-deficient rats.

In these rats thyroparathyroidectomy is well tolerated, which makes for an ideal model for the study of the effects of calcium-regulating hormones on bone histology, cytology, and biochemistry.

Evidence for alteration of the vitamin D-endocrine system in obese subjects.

Evidence is provided that alteration of the vitamin D-endocrine system in obese subjects is characterized by secondary hyperparathyroidism which is associated with enhanced renal tubular reabsorption of calcium and increased circulating 1,25(OH)2D.