Why Does Vitamin D Matter?

Book Series: Vitamin D and Your Body

Volume 1

by

J. Ruth Wu-Wong

DOI: 10.2174/97816080508331120101
eISBN: 978-1-60805-083-3, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60805-511-1
ISSN: 1879-4475 (Print)



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Indexed in: Chemical Abstracts

New tests and studies continue to reveal exciting information about the power of vitamin D in maintaining good health and preventing m...[view complete introduction]

Table of Contents

Foreword

- Pp. i

Terry Opgenorth

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Preface

- Pp. ii

J. Ruth Wu-Wong

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List of Contributors

- Pp. iii

J. Ruth Wu-Wong

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A Brief History of the Vitamin D Field

- Pp. 3-11 (9)

Masahide Mizobuchi

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How Does Vitamin D Work?

- Pp. 12-25 (14)

Petya Valcheva and Jose M. Valdivielso

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What Have We Learned from the Epidemiology of Vitamin D?

- Pp. 26-40 (15)

Csaba P. Kovesdy

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Does Vitamin D Supplementation Improve Health?

- Pp. 41-56 (16)

Alan H. Lau and Yee Ming Lee

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Vitamin D Analogs Currently on the Market and in Development

- Pp. 57-82 (26)

Gui-Dong Zhu

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How are Vitamin D and Its Analogs Used to Treat Human Diseases?

- Pp. 83-101 (19)

Alex J. Brown

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Future Perspectives

- Pp. 102-116 (15)

J. Ruth Wu-Wong

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Index

- Pp. 117-120 (4)

J. Ruth Wu-Wong

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Foreword

Vitamin D was discovered in the 1920s as a substance in cod liver oil that cured sick dogs of a bone disorder called rickets. Because it was proven to be something different than Vitamin A which had also been characterized in cod liver oil, and a vitamin B and C had already been claimed, the new substance was called vitamin D. We have come a long way! We now recognize the pluripotency of vitamin D and as more has been learned in recent years about the biology of vitamin D it continues to fascinate scientists and spur new discovery. Thus, this eBook is a timely review of science and medical knowledge underpinning our current understanding of vitamin D and what the future might hold as we learn to apply that new knowledge.

In recent years, vitamin D has been commonly referenced in the lay press. In particular, the question of how to deal with vitamin D deficiency as a public health concern has been frequently in the news. At the same time public and medical awareness has increased of the potential health consequences vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, depending on how one wants to define it, a growing body of data is focused on the potential pharmaceutical applications of vitamin D therapy. Certainly, this aspect has been facilitated by discovery and development of several chemical analogs of vitamin D and their dramatic utility in treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with endstage renal disease, a mineral abnormality commonly associated with kidney disease. As this eBook highlights, there is increasing clinical evidence to suggest pharmacological therapy with vitamin D analogs, or vitamin D receptor modulators (VDRMs) as we prefer to call them, may have significant benefit from beyond treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism.

This eBook reviews the history of vitamin D, current medical practice, and recent advances in our understanding of vitamin D’s important role beyond mineral metabolism. In particular, its importance to cardiovascular health is made clear. This relationship is most evident in patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). The progressive and irreversible nature of CKD is strongly associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Unfortunately, the global prevalence of CKD is rapidly growing due to the epidemic of type 2 diabetes, and an aging population. The associated costs of treating these patients, especially in the later stages of disease, represent a large and growing health care burden that cannot be sustained, demanding new treatment and perhaps more aggressive treatment with existing therapeutic approaches.

Each of the authors are experts actively engaged in vitamin D research. Their chapters highlight the continuing advances being made in discovery and development of novel VDRM drugs which have great potential to improve the lives of many patients suffering from CKD, and other diseases of vitamin D deficiency. This volume will serve as a useful guide to both experienced and novice vitamin D researchers and clinicians, and to those generally interested and staying current with an active area of science that has broad implications on human health.

Read, learn and do!

Terry Opgenorth
CEO, Vidasym
Chicago
USA


Preface

Many eBooks have been published on the subject of vitamin D. Considering the important role vitamin D plays in human health, perhaps the plan to construct a series of eBooks on the subject of vitamin D is still worth pursuing, although the task is certainly daunting and at the same time exciting. This eBook is the first in the series and it aims to explore why vitamin D matters.

The first chapter offers the readers a brief history of the vitamin D field. It will become obvious to the readers that this is a pretty “ancient” field and many studies have been conducted in the field. The second chapter follows by detailing how vitamin D works, which shall also be accessible to a large class of readers with some scientific background.

Numerous epidemiological studies have been conducted to investigate the outcome of vitamin D deficiency and the effects of vitamin D supplementation. Chapter 3 contains a detailed account of the available data on epidemiology to help the readers understand more about the role of vitamin D in various disease states. After learning about the importance of vitamin D, the readers may wonder how much vitamin D is required to maintain good health and whether they shall increase their vitamin D intake. In Chapter 4, the issue of vitamin D supplementation is addressed from different angles.

It is important to note that vitamin D and its analogs are currently used to treat various diseases. Chapter 5 provides a comprehensive report on various vitamin D analogs currently on the market or in development. Chapter 6 continues by exploring the possibility of developing this class of compounds for additional indications.

Chapter 7 summarizes the topics discussed in the previous chapters and attempts to pin down the unresolved issues in the vitamin D field and also projects what to expect in the future.

We hope the readers will find this eBook informative, not only from the scientific point of view, but also from the potential applications of the knowledge into one’s daily life. It is the authors’ sincere wish that the eBook will arouse interest among young people to consider a career in biochemical/medical research, especially in the field of vitamin D.

We would like to thank Dr. Terry Opgenorth for writing the foreword and Bentham Science Publishers for their support and efforts.

J. Ruth Wu-Wong
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago
USA

List of Contributors

Editor(s):
J. Ruth Wu-Wong
Department of Pharmacy Practice
University of Illinois
Chicago
USA




Contributor(s):
Masahide Mizobuchi
Department of Medicine
Division of Nephrology, Showa University School of Medicine
Tokyo
Japan


Petya Valcheva
Laboratorio de Investigación Hospital Universitario Arnau de Vilanova
IRBLLEIDA. Rovira Roure 80
Lleida
Spain


Jose M. Valdivielso
Laboratorio de Investigación Hospital Universitario Arnau de Vilanova
IRBLLEIDA. Rovira Roure 80
Lleida
Spain


Csaba P. Kovesdy
Division of Nephrology, Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center
1970 Roanoke Blvd., Salem
Virginia, 24153
USA


Alan Lau
College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL
USA


Yee Ming Lee
College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL
USA


Gui-Dong Zhu
Cancer Research, GPRD, Abbott Laboratories
100 Abbott Park Rd., Abbott Park
Tokyo
IL , 60064
USA


Alex Brown
Department of Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis
MO, 63130
USA


J. Ruth Wu-Wong
Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmac
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago
IL, 60612
USA




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