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Nutrients 2010, 2(4), 408-425; doi:10.3390/nu2040408
Review

Nonclassical Vitamin D Actions

*  and
Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia, Ruhr University Bochum, Georgstrasse 11, 32545 Bad Oeynhausen, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2010 / Revised: 17 March 2010 / Accepted: 22 March 2010 / Published: 25 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Vitamins)
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Abstract

It is becoming increasingly clear that vitamin D has a broad range of actions in the human body. Besides its well-known effects on calcium/phosphate homeostasis, vitamin D influences muscle function, cardiovascular homeostasis, nervous function, and the immune response. Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency has been associated with muscle weakness and a high incidence of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 and 2 diabetes. Most importantly, low vitamin D status has been found to be an independent predictor of all-cause mortality. Several recent randomized controlled trials support the assumption that vitamin D can improve muscle strength, glucose homeostasis, and cardiovascular risk markers. In addition, vitamin D may reduce cancer incidence and elevated blood pressure. Since the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is high throughout the world, there is a need to improve vitamin D status in the general adult population. However, the currently recommended daily vitamin D intake of 5–15 µg is too low to achieve an adequate vitamin D status in individuals with only modest skin synthesis. Thus, there is a need to recommend a vitamin D intake that is effective for achieving adequate circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (>75 nmol/L).
Keywords: vitamin D; cancer; cardiovascular; mortality; ultraviolet B radiation; diet vitamin D; cancer; cardiovascular; mortality; ultraviolet B radiation; diet
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Zittermann, A.; Gummert, J.F. Nonclassical Vitamin D Actions. Nutrients 2010, 2, 408-425.

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