Vitamin D is the label for a very important
group of micro-nutrients. It acts as a steroid hormone, functioning
to switch genes on and off, and helping our cells to function correctly.
Many diseases including cancer, heart-disease,
and diabetes have been connected with insufficient levels of vitamin
D in numerous studies. In optimum amounts, it strengthens the immune
system, nervous system, and bones, joints, and muscles. It can even
positively affect your mood. It plays a role in reducing pain and
inflammation, as well as helping to control blood sugar and blood
pressure levels. Read more about the benefits
and functions of vitamin D and signs of vitamin
Vitamin D is primary obtained through exposure
to sunlight, and thus, the modern lifestyle has resulted in many
people being perpetually deficient. However, it is difficult to
obtain sufficient quantities through diet alone. Read more about
of vitamin D and the daily
requirement of vitamin D.
Vitamin D toxicity or overdose is rare, but
possible with large quantities of supplementation. Read more about
In our bodies, there are 3 primary forms of
1. Cholecalciferol (also known as raw vitamin
In the body, the majority of vitamin D begins
as cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3. There's a compound found in the
skin, which is produced by the liver called pre-vitamin D. When
exposed to UV-B rays, pre-vitamin D turns into vitamin D3.
2. Calcidiol (the stored type of vitamin D)
Calcidiol is stored in various body tissues
including fat, muscle, blood, and the liver - which creates a reserve
of vitamin D. The amount of calcidiol stored regulates the amount
of the active form our body can make.
3. Calcitriol (the active type of vitamin D)
Ultimately, calcidiol is hydroxylated by enzymes
inside the kidneys (along with other body tissues) into the active
type of vitamin D, calcitriol. Calcitriol is very strong steroid
hormone, which is responsible for a myriad of health benefits.