Vitamin D Deficiency : This clandestine endemic disease is veiled no more

Moeness Moustafa Alshishtawy


Recently, scientists have generated a strong body of evidence providing new information about the preventive effect of vitamin D on a broad range of disorders. This evidence suggests that vitamin D is much more than a nutrient needed for bone health; it is an essential hormone required for regulation of a large number of physiological functions. Sufficient concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is essential for optimising human health. This article reviews the present state-of-the-art knowledge about vitamin D’s status worldwide and refers to recent articles discussing some of the general background of vitamin D, including sources, benefits, deficiencies, and dietary requirements, especially in pregnancy. They offer evidence that vitamin D deficiency could be a major public health burden in many parts of the world, mostly because of sun deprivation. The article also discusses the debate about optimal concentration of circulating serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and explores different views on the amount of vitamin D supplementation required to achieve and maintain this concentration. 


Vitamin D deficiency; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol); Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol); Sunlight; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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