Reduced levels of nutritional vitamin D are commonly observed in most chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and particularly in patients who have received a kidney transplant (KTx). In the complex clinical scenario characterizing the recipients of a renal graft, nutritional vitamin D deficiency has been put in relation not only to the changes of mineral and bone metabolism (MBM) after KTx, but also to most of the medical complications which burden KTx patients. In fact, referring to its alleged pleiotropic (non-MBM related) activities, vitamin D has been claimed to play some role in the occurrence of cardiovascular, metabolic, immunologic, neoplastic and infectious complications commonly observed in KTx recipients. Furthermore, low nutritional vitamin D levels have also been connected with graft dysfunction occurrence and progression. In this review, we will discuss the purported and the demonstrated effects of native vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency in most of the above mentioned fields, dealing separately with the MBM-related and the pleiotropic effects.
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