Vitamin D, Calcium, and Bones

Vitamin D is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy skeleton from birth until death. It plays an essential role in maintaining healthy mineralised bones of the skeleton. The major function of vitamin D is to maintain calcium homeostasis. Vitamin D increases the efficiency of the intestine to absorb dietary calcium. When there is inadequate calcium in the diet, vitamin D communicates to the osteoblasts that signal osteoclast precursors to mature and dissolve the calcium stored in the bone. Vitamin D deficiency is a major unrecognised health problem. Vitamin D deficiency has long lasting effects. It causes rickets in children, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis in adults. Chronic vitamin D deficiency may have serious adverse consequences.

I see the numerous benefits of Vitamin D on improving health (above that of bone health) and see supplementation of Vitamin D increasing in the next few years due to its various health benefits.

References:

Holick MF. Vitamin D: A millenium perspective. J Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb 1; 88(2): 296-307.

Holick MF. Vitamin D and bone health. J Nutr. 1996 Apr; 126(4 Suppl): 1159S-64S.

Holick MF. Calcium and vitamin D. Diagnostics and therapeutics. Clin Lab Med. 2000 Sep; 20(3): 569-90.