Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation. Supplementum vol:227 pages:35-45
The serum concentration of vitamin D will only give information about the recent exposure to either nutritional vitamin D or to recent vitamin D production in the skin. Within hours vitamin D is removed from the circulation and reappears again a few hours later as 25(OH)D. Measurements of vitamin D therefore are not useful to judge the vitamin D status of man. Plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) are the best markers of imminent or existing vitamin D deficiency. Suboptimal vitamin D supply (or 25(OH)D plasma concentrations) are observed in most European countries and North America from November to April. Vitamin D substitution is recommended to persons with a serum concentration of 25(OH)D below 50 nmol/L (20 micrograms/L). Plasma concentrations of 1,25(OH)2D3 (calcitriol) depend mainly on renal function, concentrations of intact PTH and the supply of the organism with calcium and phosphate. High PTH, low calcium and low phosphate supply are the main stimulators of the production of calcitriol. Vitamin D substitution, or if necessary, therapy with active vitamin D metabolites or analogs, e.g. calcitriol or alfacalcidol, are often necessary in hypercalcemic persons with low serum concentrations of calcitriol, e.g. in patients with renal failure. Disorders with low or high vitamin D metabolite concentrations in serum are described in this paper.