Vitamin D deficiency: review

Lukas Pajėda1

1Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania


Vitamin D deficiency occurs in almost 50% of the population. As many as 1 billion people of all ethnic and age groups have deficiency of this vitamin. The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is a particularly important public health problem because hypovitaminosis D is an independent risk factor for mortality in the general population. Researches confirms the importance of vitamin D in the fight against cancer, heart disease, bone fractures, trauma, autoimmune diseases, influenza, type 2 diabetes and depression. The main natural source of vitamin D is its production in the skin – by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Small amounts of this vitamin can also be obtained with food. The lack of exposure to sunlight, malnutrition are the most common causes of vitamin D deficiency. The most commonly used method for the determination of vitamin D is the measurement of serum 25(OH)D levels, which are considered to be deficient when 25(OH)D levels fall below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l). Hypovitaminosis D can occur in all age groups, so in case of insufficient vitamin D levels, treatment is given, which depends on age.

Keywords: Vitamin D, deficiency, treatment.