Vitamin D and its Controversies: What the Dermatologist Needs to Know
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a steroid hormone precursor and is synthesised when skin is exposed to ultraviolet B radiation. It is also found in a limited number of foods, especially oily fish. The two main sources of vitamin D are sun exposure and oral intake, including vitamin D supplementation and dietary intake. Multiple factors can influence vitamin D status. Vitamin D has well known effects on calcium metabolism and is traditionally linked to the prevention of rickets in children and bone fractures in the elderly. Because vitamin D receptors are present in many organs and tissues, vitamin D may have extraskeletal effects. Vitamin D has gained much attention in research and clinical practice as a possible preventive factor for a wide array of chronic diseases. The authors reviewed the literature with the purpose of providing the practising dermatologist with a simple and succinct document relevant to everyday clinical practice. At the present time, the lack of quality evidence to support vitamin D evaluation and supplementation in dermatologic conditions is still striking.
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