Changes in vitamin D endocrinology during aging in adults

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Worldwide, vitamin D deficiency is a common finding. Within individuals 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OH)D) concentrations remain fairly stable over time although large differences in individual longitudinal changes exist. During aging vitamin D metabolism and activity changes in several different ways. Intestinal resistance to 1,25(OH)2D develops which hampers intestinal calcium uptake. Vitamin D receptor number decreases with aging in several organs involved in calcium metabolism and 1alpha-hydroxylase activity decreases mainly due to a decrease in renal function reducing vitamin D activation. Effects of 1,25(OH)2D on cell proliferation and differentiation may influence potential anti-cancer effects whereas regulation of telomere length may result in longevity. In older individuals, vitamin D supplementation has positive effects on fracture risk, number of falls and physical function. Supplementation in older populations warrants specific attention. Effects on “non-classical” outcomes may be revealed by ongoing large randomized clinical trials with high doses of vitamin D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2017


  • 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D
  • Aging
  • Telomere
  • Vitamin D receptor

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