What is the importance of vitamin D?

Updated: Dec 15, 2020
  • Author: Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Vitamin D is important for calcium homeostasis and for optimal skeletal health. The major function of vitamin D is to increase the efficiency of calcium absorption from the small intestine. Heaney and colleagues demonstrated that maximum calcium absorption occurs at levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) greater than 32 ng/mL. [8] (See Pathophysiology and Etiology.)

Vitamin D also enhances the absorption of phosphorus from the distal small bowel. Adequate calcium and phosphorus absorption from the intestine is important for proper mineralization of the bone. The second major function of vitamin D is involvement in the maturation of osteoclasts, which resorb calcium from the bones. (See Pathophysiology and Etiology.)


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