Pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of vitamin D

Inez Schoenmakers, Kerry S. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the metabolic parameters of vitamin D and its metabolites according to the framework of pharmacokinetics. The pharmacokinetics of vitamin D is considerably more complex than a standard pharmacological agent, because of the required stepwise hydroxylation into the active form, 1,25(OH)2D, its endogenous, cutaneous synthesis, and presence of vitamin D and its metabolites in the circulation and tissues. Also, its binding to the vitamin D–binding protein (DBP) influences the properties of the vitamin D metabolites. These aspects are discussed throughout this chapter. The absorption, distribution, dose-response, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity of vitamin D and its metabolites are reviewed. In addition, we present the current knowledge of factors influencing 25-hydroxyvitamin D half-life, the influence of DBP on vitamin D metabolism, and the differences in pharmacokinetics between bound and free 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeldman and Pike's Vitamin D
Subtitle of host publicationVolume One: Biochemistry, Physiology and Diagnostics
EditorsMartin Hewison, Roger Bouillon, JoEllen Welsh
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9780323913867
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Catabolism and excretion
  • Dose-response
  • Free 25(OH)D
  • Metabolism
  • Plasma and tissue half-life
  • Tissue distribution
  • Toxicity
  • Vitamin D absorption
  • Vitamin D binding protein

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