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All you need to know about Vitamin D

June 16, 2021 2 min read

All you need to know about Vitamin D

We've discussed the importance of various vitamin topics in the past, and today we'll be diving back into that space. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is not obtainable from foods that you consumed. Rather, it is actually obtained by sunlight on the skin. As many of you may have seen on the news, articles and all over the internet, there has been a lot of media coverage about the dangers of getting too much sun. Still, it is essential that the skin is exposed to sunlight to obtain the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D. In reality, the amount of time that a person has to spend in the sun to receive a sufficient dose of Vitamin D is minimal. Just a couple of minutes a day will be adequate and not have any adverse effects from the amount of ultra-violet light received.

 

Needless to say, the essential function of the D vitamin is to help control how much calcium is being absorbed from food. The majority of the calcium is used to build strong teeth and bones, but it is also needed to send messages along the nerves and to help muscles, such as the heart muscles, to contract. Vitamin D ensures that there is always sufficient calcium in the blood to perform these tasks. Other functions that require Vitamin D relate to the immune system, and it is believed that it is also a contributing factor in reducing the risk of contracting cancer and, in particular, colon cancer.

 

The variant of the Vitamin D that is formed under the skin is known as vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. This Vitamin D is created when the ultraviolet in the sunlight reacts with a type of cholesterol that is found under the skin naturally. The D3 is converted into a more active form of the Vitamin D in the liver and is then diverted to where it is needed the most. Some of the it remains in the liver and kidneys to help reabsorb the calcium from the blood. The rest of the Vitamin D is dispersed to the bones to help them retain their calcium and the intestines to aid calcium absorption from food.

 

Even though the majority of the Vitamin D is formed through the exposure of the skin to sunlight, some foods do contain some of the vitamins naturally. This form of the Vitamin D is known also commonly known as Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol. This is used in the same way as the other Vitamin D and is the type used to create the majority of Vitamin D supplements at your local pharmacy.

 

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