Editor: J. Ruth Wu-Wong

Series Title: Vitamin D and Your Body

Why Does Vitamin D Matter?

Volume 1

eBook: US $44 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $102
Printed Copy: US $80
Library License: US $176
ISSN: 2589-3041 (Print)
ISSN: 1879-4475 (Online)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-511-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-083-3 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2012
DOI: 10.2174/97816080508331120101

Introduction

New tests and studies continue to reveal exciting information about the power of vitamin D in maintaining good health and preventing major illnesses. ‘Why Does Vitamin D Matter?’ not only covers vitamin D basics, but also explores the science of the vitamin D receptor (VDR), the protein that binds to the active metabolite of vitamin D to fulfill biochemical functions, it explains how vitamin D analogs directly activate the VDR. Readers will find this e-book informative, not only from the scientific point of view, but also from the potential applications of the knowledge into one’s daily life.

Starting with a brief history of vitamin D and VDR research, followed by a detailed scientific report of how vitamin D and VDR work, this e-book goes on to cover epidemiological studies that investigate the outcome of vitamin D deficiency and the effects of vitamin D supplementation. Issues related to vitamin D supplementation are also addressed from different angles. This e-book continues with a comprehensive report on the numerous vitamin D analogs currently on the market or in development to treat various diseases, followed by exploring the possibility of developing this class of compounds for additional indications.

This e-book is suitable for both general readers and scientists involved in vitamin D research or students who are interested in a career in biochemical/medical/nutritional research, especially in the field of vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor.

Indexed in: Scopus, Book Citation Index, Science Edition, BIOSIS Previews, Chemical Abstracts, EBSCO.

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


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