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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 383918, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/383918
Review Article

Role of Vitamin D in Osteoarthritis: Molecular, Cellular, and Clinical Perspectives

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Received 2 December 2014; Revised 28 May 2015; Accepted 9 June 2015

Academic Editor: Kazuhiro Shiizaki

Copyright © 2015 Thomas Mabey and Sittisak Honsawek. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating and degenerative disease which affects millions of people worldwide. The causes and mechanisms of osteoarthritis remain to be fully understood. Vitamin D has been hypothesised to play essential roles in a number of diseases including osteoarthritis. Many cell types within osteoarthritic joints appear to experience negative effects often at increased sensitivity to vitamin D. These findings contrast clinical research which has identified vitamin D deficiency to have a worryingly high prevalence among osteoarthritis patients. Randomised-controlled trial is considered to be the most rigorous way of determining the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the development of osteoarthritis. Studies into the effects of low vitamin D levels on pain and joint function have to date yielded controversial results. Due to the apparent conflicting effects of vitamin D in knee osteoarthritis, further research is required to fully elucidate its role in the development and progression of the disease as well as assess the efficacy and safety of vitamin D supplementation as a therapeutic strategy.