Vitamin D – Current Perspectives
The main biological effect of vitamin D is to promote bone mineralization and regulate calcium-phosphorus metabolism, but its extra-skeletal biological function has also been extensively studied. Vitamin D deficit has been associated with an increased risk for various diseases, including autoimmune, neoplastic, cardiovascular and neurological disorders. However, areas of controversy remain: a direct cause-effect relationship between vitamin D deficiency and non-skeletal pathology and the benefit of vitamin D supplementation with this goal still has to be confirmed. In individuals at risk for vitamin D deficiency vitamin D supplementation is safe, inexpensive and with demonstrated benefit in preventing fractures and falls. The authors present an overview of the synthesis, metabolism and action of vitamin D and perform a brief review of the pathophysiology of vitamin D in the skin, namely its influence on skin pigmentation and the effect of photoprotection on vitamin D synthesis and its relationship with skin diseases.
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