Vitamin D health

Vitamin D is both a hormone and a vitamin. It was identified in the 1920s after a long search for the cause and cure of rickets, which had been a significant health problem since the industrialization of northern Europe. Vitamin D is obtained from food sources and is also manufactured in the skin through the action of sunlight. There are three forms of vitamin D: vitamin D1 (calciferol), vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is the form most commonly added to foods and nutritional supplements. These forms of vitamin D are converted in the liver and kidneys to the hormone, calcitriol, which is the physiologically active form of vitamin D.

Vitamin D healthBenefits

Bones and teeth

The most important role of vitamin D is to maintain blood calcium levels within an acceptable range. It stimulates intestinal calcium absorption and re-absorption #; in the kidneys, and regulates the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, which are vital for many body functions including the normal growth and development of bones and teeth. It enables bones and teeth to harden by increasing the deposition of calcium into these structures and may also assist in the movement of calcium across body cell membranes.

Cell growth

Vitamin D is involved in normal cell growth and maturation and may play a part in cancer prevention. In test tube experiments, calcitriol seems to have anticancer properties, inhibiting the growth of human leukemia, colon cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer cells.

Immune system

Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of the immune system. It has several functions including effects on white blood cells known as monocytes and lymphocytes and seems to suppress function of several parts of the immune system.

Hormones

Vitamin D plays a role in the secretion of insulin by the pancreas, thus aiding in the regulation of blood sugar. Vitamin D suppresses both the action of the parathyroid gland and the action of a hormone from this gland and may play a role in the treatment of an overactive parathyroid.

Nervous system

Careful regulation of calcium levels is vital for normal nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction. Vitamin D plays a role in the functioning of healthy nerves and muscles by regulating the level of calcium in the blood.

 
 
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Vitamin D Categories:

Vitamin D
Vitamin D health
Vitamin D absorption
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D sources
Vitamin D recommended daily
Vitamin D overdose
Vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D interactions

 


 

Other Vitamins:

Vitamin A
Carotenes
Beta carotene
Lycopene
Lutein
Thiamin
Riboflavin
Niacin
Vitamin B6
Folate
Vitamin B12
Biotin
Pantothenic acid
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K