Scientific Facts About Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is an important nutrient for bone health and its deficiency considered as a disease of the past has re-emerged as an significant health concern. Exposure of the skin to sunlight is the major source of vitamin D and only a small proportion comes from food intake. Vitamin D also has a role in innate and adaptive immunity. The following is a list of facts about vitamin D based on research studies published.

  • In the United States, drinking milk is associated with higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood.
  • The vitamin D in the edible white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) can be amplified 400 times using a UV light.
  • Vitamin D may reduce cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is repeatedly reported in colorectal cancer.
  • Vitamin D metabolites are positively correlated with total cholesterol concentration in colorectal cancer patients.
  • Vitamin D is positively correlated with serum albumin in dysphagic patients.
  • Vitamin D supplementation is well documented to reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
  • Most deaths due to COVID-19 viral infection are statistically attributable to vitamin D deficiency.
  • In Ireland, South East Asian descent could be at a significantly increased risk of rickets, impaired bone metabolism, and osteoporosis which are correlated with vitamin D deficiency.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is associated with acute and chronic illnesses, such as infectious, autoimmune, and cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in patient with chronic kidney disease.
  • Active vitamin D treatment can improve intestinal barriers against bacteria.
  • Low vitamin D levels is associated with chronic heart failure.
  • Vitamin D treatment can improve the ejection fraction of the heart.
  • Vitamin D supplementation does not improve liver enzymes, insulin resistance, glucose metabolism parameters, and lipid levels in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Vitamin D insufficiency during childhood and adolescence could cause adverse health outcomes.
  • In the elderly, low vitamin D status was associated with low-frequency and speech-frequency hearing loss.
  • Men with higher levels of vitamin D are more likely to possess butyrate producing bacteria that are associated with better gut microbial health.
  • Prenatal vitamin D supplementation may reduce blood pressure and improves placental angiogenesis.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased arterial stiffness in newly diagnosed hypertensive patients.
  • A woman with vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy will have her breast milk also deficient unless she is taking higher doses of vitamin D.
  • Inadequate vitamin D in infants can lead to increased risks of poor bone mineralization and rickets.
  • Evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency contributes to the seasonal increase of viral infections of the respiratory tract, from the common cold to influenza, and now possibly also COVID-19.
  • Vitamin D supplementation is particularly important for individuals with dark skin tones.
  • Vitamin D improves absorption of calcium however, in some animal studies, vitamin D also increases the absorption of toxic metals, such as lead and cadmium.
  • In human studies, vitamin D supplementation from the second trimester of pregnancy do not influence maternal cadmium, mercury, or manganese levels at delivery.
  • Combination supplement of vitamin D and calcium significantly decreased the incidence of lung cancer.
  • In a rural population exposed to sunlight many hours a day throughout their lives, low vitamin D levels is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute exacerbations.
  • Vitamin D can inhibit the proliferation, invasion and metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer cells, promoting cell apoptosis and up-regulate the sensitivity of chemotherapy drugs.
  • Study suggest that active vitamin D such as alfacalcidol are more effective in the treatment of osteoporosis and prevention of fractures compared to plain vitamin D (cholecalciferol).

Keywords: vitamin d, vitamin d supplement, vitamins


Torres-Gonzalez, M., Cifelli, C. J., Agarwal, S., & Fulgoni, V. L., 3rd (2020). Association of Milk Consumption and Vitamin D Status in the US Population by Ethnicity: NHANES 2001-2010 Analysis. Nutrients12(12), E3720.

Heo, T. Y., Kim, Y. N., Park, I. B., & Lee, D. U. (2020). Amplification of Vitamin D2 in the White Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) by UV-B Irradiation and Jet-Milling for Its Potential Use as a Functional Ingredient. Foods (Basel, Switzerland)9(11), 1713.

Kashefiolasl, S., Leisegang, M. S., Helfinger, V., Schürmann, C., Pflüger-Müller, B., Randriamboavonjy, V., Vasconez, A. E., Carmeliet, G., Badenhoop, K., Hintereder, G., Seifert, V., Schröder, K., Konczalla, J., & Brandes, R. P. (2020). Vitamin D-A New Perspective in Treatment of Cerebral Vasospasm. Neurosurgery, nyaa484. Advance online publication.

Vladimirov, S., Zeljković, A., Gojković, T., Miljković, M., Stefanović, A., Zeljković, D., Trifunović, B., & Spasojević-Kalimanovska, V. (2020). Associations of cholesterol and vitamin D metabolites with the risk for development of high grade colorectal cancer. Journal of medical biochemistry39(3), 318–327.

Santos, C. A., Nunes, G., Barata, A. T., & Fonseca, J. (2020). Vitamin D in dysphagic patients who have undergone endoscopic gastrostomy for long-term enteral feeding. Gastroenterologia y hepatologia, S0210-5705(20)30247-8. Advance online publication.

Cristelo, C., Machado, A., Sarmento, B., & Gama, F. M. (2020). The roles of vitamin D and cathelicidin on type 1 diabetes susceptibility. Endocrine connections, EC-20-0484.R1. Advance online publication.

Brenner, H., & Schöttker, B. (2020). Vitamin D Insufficiency May Account for Almost Nine of Ten COVID-19 Deaths: Time to Act. Comment on: “Vitamin D Deficiency and Outcome of COVID-19 Patients”. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2757. Nutrients12(12), E3642.

Laird, E., Walsh, J. B., Lanham-New, S., O’Sullivan, M., Kenny, R. A., Scully, H., Crowley, V., & Healy, M. (2020). A High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency Observed in an Irish South East Asian Population: A Cross-Sectional Observation Study. Nutrients12(12), E3674.

Barreto, F. C., & Stinghen, A. (2020). Vitamin D and chronic kidney disease: an uneasy relationship. Jornal brasileiro de nefrologia : ‘orgao oficial de Sociedades Brasileira e Latino-Americana de Nefrologia, S0101-28002020005042202. Advance online publication.

Lee, P. C., Hsieh, Y. C., Huo, T. I., Yang, U. C., Lin, C. H., Li, C. P., Huang, Y. H., Hou, M. C., Lin, H. C., & Lee, K. C. (2020). Active Vitamin D3 Treatment Attenuated Bacterial Translocation Via Improving Intestinal Barriers in Cirrhotic Rats. Molecular nutrition & food research, e2000937. Advance online publication.

Hassanzadeh-Makoui, R., Jamei, M., Hassanzadeh-Makoui, M., & Khederlou, H. (2020). Effects of Vitamin D on Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction in Patients with Systolic Heart Failure: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. International journal of endocrinology and metabolism18(3), e103528.

Wei, Y., Wang, S., Meng, Y., Yu, Q., Wang, Q., Xu, H., Yuan, H., Li, X., & Chen, L. (2020). Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International journal of endocrinology and metabolism18(3), e97205.

Szeto, B., Valentini, C., & Lalwani, A. K. (2020). Low vitamin D status is associated with hearing loss in the elderly: a cross-sectional study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, nqaa310. Advance online publication.

Thomas, R. L., Jiang, L., Adams, J. S., Xu, Z. Z., Shen, J., Janssen, S., Ackermann, G., Vanderschueren, D., Pauwels, S., Knight, R., Orwoll, E. S., & Kado, D. M. (2020). Vitamin D metabolites and the gut microbiome in older men. Nature communications11(1), 5997.

Nema, J., Sundrani, D., & Joshi, S. (2020). Prenatal vitamin D supplementation reduces blood pressure and improves placental angiogenesis in an animal model of preeclampsia. Food & function, 10.1039/d0fo01782e. Advance online publication.

Cakal, S., Çakal, B., & Karaca, O. (2020). Association of vitamin D deficiency with arterial stiffness in newly diagnosed hypertension. Blood pressure monitoring, 10.1097/MBP.0000000000000497. Advance online publication.

Wagner, C. L., & Hollis, B. W. (2020). Early-Life Effects of Vitamin D: A Focus on Pregnancy and Lactation. Annals of nutrition & metabolism76 Suppl 2, 16–28.

Kohlmeier M. (2020). Avoidance of vitamin D deficiency to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ nutrition, prevention & health3(1), 67–73.

Jukic, A., Zuchniak, A., Qamar, H., Ahmed, T., Mahmud, A. A., & Roth, D. E. (2020). Vitamin D Treatment during Pregnancy and Maternal and Neonatal Cord Blood Metal Concentrations at Delivery: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial in Bangladesh. Environmental health perspectives128(11), 117007.

Sun, K., Zuo, M., Zhang, Q., Wang, K., Huang, D., & Zhang, H. (2020). Anti-Tumor Effect of Vitamin D Combined with Calcium on Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrition and cancer, 1–10. Advance online publication.

Lokesh, K. S., Chaya, S. K., Jayaraj, B. S., Praveena, A. S., Krishna, M., Madhivanan, P., & Mahesh, P. A. (2020). Vitamin D deficiency is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and exacerbation of COPD. The clinical respiratory journal, 10.1111/crj.13310. Advance online publication.

Songyang, Y., Song, T., Shi, Z., Li, W., Yang, S., & Li, D. (2020). Effect of vitamin D on malignant behavior of non-small cell lung cancer cells. Gene, 145309. Advance online publication.

Ringe J. D. (2020). Plain vitamin D or active vitamin D in the treatment of osteoporosis: where do we stand today?. Archives of osteoporosis15(1), 182.

Saraff, V., & Shaw, N. (2016). Sunshine and vitamin D. Archives of disease in childhood101(2), 190–192.

Papadimitriou D. T. (2017). The Big Vitamin D Mistake. Journal of preventive medicine and public health = Yebang Uihakhoe chi50(4), 278–281.

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