Current Rheumatology Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 110–117 | Cite as

Calcium and vitamin D: Skeletal and extraskeletal health



Vitamin D is known for its role in calcium homeostasis for optimal skeletal health. It was previously believed that only elderly or hospitalized patients were at risk for vitamin D insufficiency, but many people in the general US population have insufficient levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D). According to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 61% of white and 91% of black Americans suffer from vitamin D insufficiency (25[OH]D < 32 ng/mL). Recent studies have demonstrated that a minimum 25(OH)D level of 32 ng/mL is necessary for optimal protection from fracture and intestinal absorption of calcium. Recently, vitamin D has been recognized as important for extraskeletal functions such as immune function, cancer prevention, and hypertension prevention. We review the role of vitamin D in skeletal health and present data on vitamin D in other extraskeletal diseases, with special emphasis on the rheumatology patient.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natasha Khazai
  • Suzanne E. Judd
  • Vin Tangpricha
    • 1
  1. 1.Woodruff Memorial Research BuildingAtlantaUSA

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