Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Vitamin D properties

Vitamin D is a generic term for a family of compounds known as vitamins D1, D2 and D3. Chemically these substances are called sterols, and their metabolic products have the ability to prevent rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults.

Vitamin D (calciferol or activated ergosterol) is fat soluble and requires dietary fat that absorbs the vitamin from food sources or supplements in the digestive tract.

Vitamin D is neither a vitamin nor a nutrient because exposure to sunlight can provide the body's requirement for vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced within the skin that is exposed to sunshine when the ultraviolet (UV) index is at least 3.

Calciferol (vitamin D2)
Once vitamin D is formed in the skin or ingested in the diet, it enters the bloodstream and travels to the liver and kidney where it is hydroxylated on carbons 25 and 1 to form 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), respectively.

25-Hydroxyvitamin D is the major circulating form of the vitamin that is measured to determine the vitamin D status of patients. This vitamin is necessary for normal tooth and bone formation.

There have been data from biochemical and molecular genetic studies that point to vitamin D having a much wider role than just maintenance of calcium and phosphate metabolism. Vitamin D and its synthetic analogues have been shown to have anticancer properties as well as to modulate the immune system.
Vitamin D properties
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