Recent evidence for the nonskeletal effects of vitamin D, coupled with recognition that vitamin D deficiency is common, has revived interest in this hormone. Vitamin D is produced by skin exposed to ultraviolet B radiation or obtained from dietary sources, including supplements. Persons commonly at risk for vitamin D deficiency include those with inadequate sun exposure, limited oral intake, or impaired intestinal absorption. Vitamin D adequacy is best determined by measurement of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration in the blood. Average daily vitamin D intake in the population at large and current dietary reference intake values are often inadequate to maintain optimal vitamin D levels. Clinicians may recommend supplementation but be unsure how to choose the optimal dose and type of vitamin D and how to use testing to monitor therapy. This review outlines strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat vitamin D deficiency in adults.
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