Exp Eye Res. 2015 May; 134: 101–110., Published online 2015 Feb 25. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2015.02.019
Rose Y. Reins and Alison M. McDermott
Vitamin D is a multifunctional hormone that is now known to play a significant role in a variety of biological functions in addition to its traditional role in regulating calcium homeostasis. There are a large number of studies demonstrating that adequate vitamin D levels are important in maintaining health and show that vitamin D is able to be utilized at local tissue sites. In the eye, we have increasing evidence of the association between disease and vitamin D. In this narrative review, we summarize recent findings on vitamin D and its relationship to various ocular pathologies and the therapeutic potential for some of these, as well as examine the basic science studies that demonstrate that vitamin D is biologically relevant in the eye.
Vitamin D is a multifunctional hormone, which not only affects calcium homeostasis, but plays a role in immune system regulation as well as cell growth and survival. Many tissues in the eye are able to both activate and respond to vitamin D, suggesting that vitamin D is a biologically relevant molecule to study throughout the eye. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that vitamin D levels and genetic variations influence the development of a wide range of pathologies, such as
- age-related macular degeneration,
- diabetic retinopathy, and
In addition, at the cellular level, vitamin D is able to
- reduce inflammatory mediators,
- enhance barrier function, and
- induce cell death of cancerous cells.
These studies suggest that vitamin D plays a protective role in ocular health. It will therefore be exciting to follow further work, examining the benefits of vitamin D therapeutically in the eye.
PMCID: PMC4426046, NIHMSID: NIHMS669750
Vision category starts with the following
- Eye vitamin D may not be associated with blood VitD, but is associated with CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 – Nov 2019
- Vitamin D treats and prevents a variety of eye problems (need 70 ng) – June 2018
- Vitamin D and Myopia, AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy, Uveitis, Glaucoma, VDR etc. – May 2015
- Myopia may be related to low vitamin D
- Tears often have 25 % higher levels of vitamin D than does blood
- Cataracts prevented and perhaps treated by Vitamin D - 2015
- All people with Cataracts had low vitamin D levels – April 2019
- Vitamin D and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (and 2 AMD meta-analyses) – Oct 2017
- Vitamin D is the best vitamin to fight glaucoma – May 2018
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