Vitamin D has a significant role in bone health, calcium homeostasis, immune function and other biological functions. In our bodies, the main source of vitamin D is linked to our skin's exposure to sunlight. It can also be obtained through foods that contain vitamin D. Despite these two sources, vitamin D supplementation is often necessary. It is available in two forms, cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol as over-the-counter (OTC) products, as well as calcitriol as prescription only. Reasons for vitamin D deficiency include lack of sunlight, poor diet, malabsorption of vitamin D, liver and/or kidney disease. Vitamin D deficiencies lead to diseases such as rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. During supplementation it is important to monitor for vitamin D toxicity. Pharmacists need to be aware of the various guidelines regarding vitamin D supplementation.
Orlinski H, Stewart H, Lanker A, Kradel S, Hrometz SL. Answers About the Need for Vitamin D Supplementation. PAW Review. 2014 Jun 01; 5(2):Article 5 26-30 . Available from: https://digitalcommons.onu.edu/paw_review/vol5/iss2/5. Free full text article.