Vitamin D: beyond bone

Sylvia Christakos, Martin Hewison, David G Gardner, Carol L Wagner, Igor N Sergeev, Erica Rutten, Anastassios G Pittas, Ricardo Boland, Luigi Ferrucci, Daniel D Bikle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, vitamin D has been received increased attention due to the resurgence of vitamin D deficiency and rickets in developed countries and the identification of extraskeletal effects of vitamin D, suggesting unexpected benefits of vitamin D in health and disease, beyond bone health. The possibility of extraskeletal effects of vitamin D was first noted with the discovery of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in tissues and cells that are not involved in maintaining mineral homeostasis and bone health, including skin, placenta, pancreas, breast, prostate and colon cancer cells, and activated T cells. However, the biological significance of the expression of the VDR in different tissues is not fully understood, and the role of vitamin D in extraskeletal health has been a matter of debate. This report summarizes recent research on the roles for vitamin D in cancer, immunity and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular and respiratory health, pregnancy, obesity, erythropoiesis, diabetes, muscle function, and aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

© 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.


  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Infant
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Obesity
  • Organ Specificity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D Deficiency


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