Abstract Rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and myopathy are among the better known consequences of a low to very low vitamin D status. Over the past several years various predominantly epidemiological and prospective cohort studies have found associations between low vitamin D levels and various extraskeletal conditions. These findings may particularly become important over the next years since large proportions of the population have low vitamin D levels. Increasing incidence rates of obesity, adverse life-style factors and active avoidance of sunlight seem to decrease average population mean vitamin D levels further. This article gives a brief overview of known and also less well-established potential detrimental effects of a low vitamin D status.