Vitamin D Research and References

The Best Vitamin D Research

Although vitamin D was discovered more than 80 years ago, current research indicates that we’re just getting to know this fascinating and important nutrient, which in fact more closely resembles a hormone than a vitamin.

The past decade has seen a surge of excellent and exciting vitamin D research that has put the spotlight on widespread vitamin deficiency in the U.S. and other industrialized countries where people spend a lot of their time indoors and/or wear sunscreen.

My favorite vitamin D researcher/writer is Michael Holick, M.D. of Boston University School of Medicine. His research is clear and thoughtful, and he seems to have by far the best overall grasp of the subject.

If you’re interested in the research on vitamin D, the citations below will give you the big picture and the details. To read the abstract for an individual citation, simply highlight the name of the study, copy it, and paste it into the search window on PubMed (the National Library of Medicine). That will take you right to the abstract for the study, and also to a link where you have the option to purchase the full text of the published article.


Al Faraj S, Al Mutairi K. Vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back pain in Saudi Arabia. Spine. 2003;28(2):177-9.

Armas LA, Hollis BW, Heaney RP. Vitamin D2 is much less effective than vitamin D3 in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89(11):5387-91.

Aasheim ET, Hofso D et al. Vitamin status in morbidly obese patients: a cross-sectional study. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:362-369.
Aspray TJ, Francis RM. Vitamin D deficiency can old age learn from childhood? Age Ageing 2008;37:6-7.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC et al. Fracture prevention with vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2005;293(18):2257-64.

Boonen S, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Addressing the musculoskeletal components of fracture risk with calcium and vitamin D: a review of the evidence. Calcif Tissue Int. 2006;78(5):257-70.

Brisson J, Bérubé S, et al. Synchronized seasonal variations of mammographic breast density and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin d. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007 May;16(5):929-33.

Davis CD, Dwyer JT. The "Sunshine Vitamin": Benefits Beyond Bone? JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst 2007;99: 1563-1565.

EURODIAB Substudy 2 Study Group. Vitamin D supplement in early childhood and risk for Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia. 1999;42(1):51-4.

Lewis PJ. Vitamin D deficiency may have role in chronic low back pain. BMJ. 2005;331(7508):109.

Faiz S, Panunti B, Andrews S. The epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. J La State Med Soc. 2007;159(1):17-20; quiz 20, 55.

Garland CF, Comstock GW et al. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and colon cancer: eight-year prospective study. Lancet 1989;2:1176–78.

Gass M, Dawson-Hughes B. Preventing osteoporosis-related fractures: an overview. Am J Med. 2006;119(4 Suppl 1):S3-S11.

Ginanjar E, Sumariyono Setiati S, et al. Vitamin d and autoimmune disease. Acta Med Indones. 2007 Oct-Dec;39(3):133-41.

Grant WB, Garland CF, Holick MF. Comparisons of estimated economic burdens due to insufficient solar ultraviolet irradiance and vitamin D and excess solar UV irradiance for the United States. Photochem Photobiol 2005;81:1276–86.

Grant WB. An estimate of premature cancer mortality in the U.S. due to inadequate doses of solar ultraviolet-B radiation. Cancer 2002; 94:1867–75.

Heaney RP. Vitamin D--the iceberg nutrient. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2006;6(4):334-5.

Holick MF, Biancuzzo RM et al. Vitamin D2 is as effective as vitamin D3 in maintaining circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Dec 18; [Epub ahead of print].

Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.

Holick MF. High prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and implications for health. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81(3):353-73.

Holick MF. The vitamin D epidemic and its health consequences. J Nutr. 2005;135(11):2739S-48S.

Holick MF. Vitamin D: important for prevention of osteoporosis, cardiovascular heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers. South Med J. 2005;98(10):1024-7.

Holick MF. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(6 Suppl):1678S- 88S.

Holick MF. Sunlight D’ilemma: risk of skin cancer or bone disease and muscle weakness. Lancet 2001; 357: 4–6.

Hollis BW, Wagner CL. Vitamin D requirements during lactation: high-dose maternal supplementation as therapy to prevent hypovitaminosis D for both the mother and the nursing infant. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(6 Suppl):1752S-8S.

Houghton LA, Vieth R. The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84(4):694-7.

Lappe JM, Davies KM et al. Vitamin D status in a rural postmenopausal female population. J Am Coll Nutr 2006 Oct;25(5):395-402.

Lin J, Manson JE et al. Intakes of calcium and vitamin D and breast cancer risk in women. Arch Intern Med 2007 May 28;167(10):1050-9.

MacLaughlin J, Holick MF. Aging decreases the capacity of human skin to produce vitamin D3. J Clin Invest. 1985;76(4):1536-8.

Need AG, Morris HA et al. Effects of skin thickness, age, body fat, and sunlight on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993;58(6):882-5.

Need AG, Horowitz M et al. Vitamin D status: effects on parathyroid hormone and 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(6):1577-81.

Need AG, O’Loughlin PD et al. The effects of age and other variables on serum parathyroid hormone in postmenopausal women attending an osteoporosis center. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89(4):1646-9.

Peterlik M, Cross HS. Vitamin D and calcium deficits predispose for multiple chronic diseases. Eur J Clin Invest. 2005;35(5):290-304.

Plotnikoff GA, Quigley JM. Prevalence of severe hypovitaminosis D in patients with persistent, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003;78(12):1463-70.

Poole KE, Loveridge N, Barker PJ, Halsall DJ, Rose C, Reeve J, Warburton EA. Reduced vitamin D in acute stroke. Stroke. 2006;37(1):243-5.

Rajakumar K. Vitamin D, cod-liver oil, sunlight, and rickets: a historical perspective. Pediatrics. 2003;112(2):e132-5.

Robien K, Cutler GJ et al. Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. Cancer Causes Control 2007 Sep;18(7):775-82.
Singh, R. J. (2008). Are Clinical Laboratories Prepared for Accurate Testing of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D? Clin. Chem 2008;54:221-223.
Wortsman J, Matsuoka LY et al. Decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72(3):690-3.

Zittermann A. Vitamin D and disease prevention with special reference to cardiovascular disease. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006;92(1):39-48.

Zittermann A, Schleithoff SS, Koerfer R. Putting cardiovascular disease and vitamin D insufficiency into perspective. Br J Nutr. 2005;94(4):483-92.

Zittermann A. Vitamin D in preventive medicine: are we ignoring the evidence? Br J Nutr. 2003;89(5):552-72.