alexa Vitamin D in Aging and Chronic Illness
ISSN: 2376-1318

Vitamins & Minerals
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Review Article

Vitamin D in Aging and Chronic Illness

Veronica A. Ralls1, Alaina P. Boyer2 and Consuelo H. Wilkins1,2*
1Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA
2Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA
Corresponding Author : Consuelo H. Wilkins
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nashville, TN, USA
Tel: 615-963-2820
Fax: 615-320-9457
E-mail: [email protected]
Received July 02, 2013; Accepted September 09, 2014; Published September 16, 2014
Citation: Ralls VA, Boyer AP, Wilkins CH (2014) Vitamin D in Aging and Chronic Illness. Vitam Miner 3:125. doi:10.4172/vms.1000125
Copyright: ©2014 Ralls VA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
 

Abstract

The role of vitamin D in calcium homeostasis and its impact on bone is well characterized and validated; however, the role vitamin D plays in non-bone physiology is less concrete. The Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) is expressed throughout the body and regulates many cellular processes. This discovery has led to vigorous research of vitamin D and the role it plays in many illnesses, especially those of high prevalence in the United States. Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in numerous health conditions and thus is an intriguing target for therapeutic intervention. Studies examining the therapeutic effects of vitamin D in chronic disease and disease prevention have yielded conflicting results. Additionally, many publications on vitamin D result from studies in which vitamin D was not the primary focus. Given the increasing interest in the non-bone effects of vitamin D, we will review and summarize the recent literature related to older adults, a group with significantly increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Older adults have substantial morbidity and mortality due to dementia, cancer and heart disease, all of which have been linked to vitamin D deficiency. We will explore current evidence of the expression of VDR and the effects of exposure to vitamin D that might impact these illnesses among older adults. We will review the most recent research on cognitive function and depression as a result of vitamin D deficiency. Through this work we aim to summarize the current data that sheds light on the possibility of clinical application of vitamin D therapy.

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