1. The effects of vitamin D and its hydroxylated derivatives on calcium and magnesium absorption have been examined in 47 balance studies on patients with various disorders of calcium or bone metabolism.
2. Vitamin D significantly increased the mean net absorption of calcium and also the calcium balance. The mean net absorption of magnesium was also significantly increased although the rise was much less than that of calcium and the mean magnesium balance was unaffected.
3. It is suggested that the slight effect of vitamin D on magnesium absorption may be incidental to its stimulation of active calcium transport, since the latter system has weak affinities for other alkaline earth ions including strontium, barium and magnesium.