Updated: Jan 11, 2021
Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin from the ultraviolet light of the sun and it is also obtained from food, such such as milk, nuts and fatty fish.
Active calcium absorption from the gut depends on adequate formation of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D and an intact vitamin D receptor. Bone mineralization mainly depends on ambient calcium concentration.
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include premature birth, skin pigmentation, low sunshine exposure, obesity, malabsorption and advanced age.
Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets or osteomalacia (Softening of bones), increase of serum PTH leading to bone resorption, osteoporosis and fractures.
Vitamin D metabolites may play a role in the prevention of auto-immune disease and cancer. The active metabolite 1,25(OH)2D has an antiproliferative effect and downregulates inflammatory markers. Most observational studies have reported that vitamin D has a beneficial effect on risk of colon, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer.
Vitamin D levels of 30 to 100 ng/mL are considered optimal.
Vitamin D levels between 20 and 29 ng/mL are considered suboptimal.
Vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL are considered vitamin D deficient.
High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is present in all races, even in temperate areas and is particularly high among Black Americans. Everyday use of sunscreens that offer a high level of protection against the sun, completely blocks photosynthesis of vitamin D and reduces circulating vitamin D metabolites.
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to be associated with reduced incidence of type I diabetes, with improvement in type II diabetes, reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most dietary sources of vitamin D do not contain sufficient amounts of the vitamin to satisfy daily requirements. Oral and Intramuscular supplementation can help satisfy daily requirements. Dosage on supplementation is dependent on serum Vitamin D level.
Consult your healthcare provider or a board certified provider before starting Vitamin D supplementation.
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