An essential vitamin Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the the blood.
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AN ESSENTIAL VITAMIN
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the the blood. Vitamin D has other roles in the body, too, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and overall health.*
VITAMIN D SOURCES
Vitamin D encompasses two forms: vitamin D2, which is produced by plants, and vitamin D3, which is synthesized when human skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet B shortwave rays.
A very limited variety of foods contain naturally occurring vitamin D; among them are salmon, mackerel, and some mushroom varieties. Foods may be additionally fortified with vitamin D; these commonly include milk and yogurt, tuna, sardines, beef, eggs, orange juice, and many breakfast cereals. Fortified foods may contain either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.
VITAMIN D ABSORPTION
Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two chemical processes in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol. The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], also known as calcitriol.
Vitamin D3, as cholecalciferol, is bioidentical to the vitamin D produced by the human body. Studies have shown that Vitamin D3 increases the total [25(OH)D] concentration more than vitamin D2, suggesting that vitamin D3 is more bioavailable in supplementation.*