Research Article| Volume 20, ISSUE 3, P569-590, September 2000

Calcium and Vitamin D: Diagnostics and Therapeutics

  • Michael F. Holick
    Address reprint requests to Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Vitamin D, Skin, and Bone Research Laboratory, 715 Albany Street, M-1013, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118.
    From the Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Diabetes, Vitamin D, Skin, and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
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      Vitamin D is essential for calcium metabolism and bone health. The major source of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults and exacerbates osteoporosis. Vitamin D is metabolized to 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D3, which is responsible for regulating calcium absorption and cellular proliferation. Vitamin D may not only be important for bone health, but may also be important in decreasing risk of colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
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