Vitamin D, An Issue of Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
This issue features internationally renowned experts who have provided their expertise on a variety of topics related to the importance of vitamin D. It was not until feedback loops were identified between vitamin D production and parathyroid hormone, phosphate that it earned its place as a true endocrine hormone. Current social and economic conditions have brought it back into the limelight with outbreaks of rickets and osteomalacia even in developed countries. However its complex regulation, together with the identification and characterization of the vitamin D receptor and its role in influencing multiple genetic pathways and function has heralded a new era highlighting its importance in health and disease. This includes its role in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, cancer especially breast and prostate, skin, neurological and cognitive disorders, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. We now know that adequate levels of vitamin D it is important in preventing falls and fracture. The need for supplementation and the amount recommended has also changed considerably from what we previously considered sufficient. The ongoing development of selective active analogs of vitamin D targeted to specific organs and function leads to the exciting possibility of improving outcomes of diseases associated with vitamin D regulation.
|Author Information||By Sol Epstein, MD|