is completely different from most other vitamins. In fact, it’s a cholesterol-stimulating hormone when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
For this reason, Vitamin D is often referred to as “sunlight vitamin”.
However, exposure to sunlight rarely provides adequate Vit d.
This makes it necessary to obtain it from nutritional supplements or from your diet.
However, only a few foods contain large amounts of this vitamin.
In fact, about 41.6% of the U.S. population has vitamin D deficiency.
This article explains everything you need to know about vitamin D.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin-like vitamin A, which means it is soluble in fats and oils and can be stored in your body for a long time.
There are two main types of VIT D.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). It is found in some animal foods, such as fatty fish and egg yolk.
Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol). It is found in some plants, mushrooms, and yeasts.
Of the two, D3 (cholecalciferol) appears to be nearly as effective in increasing blood levels of vitamin D as D2 (ergocalciferol).
What does it do in your body? Switch to the active type
Vitamin D needs to undergo two conversion steps to be active.
First, it is converted to calcium. Or 25 (OH) D, in the liver. This is how vitamin D is stored.
Secondly, it is converted to calcitriol. Or 1,25 (OH) 2D, mostly in your kidneys. This is the form of the active steroid hormone.
Calcitriol interacts with vitamin D receptors (VDR), which are found in almost every cell in the body.
When the active form of vitamin D binds to this receptor. It turns genes off or on
This leads to changes in your cells. This is similar to how most other steroid hormones work.
The importance of vitamin.
Vitamin D affects different cells related to bone health. It enhances the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gut.
But scientists recently discovered that it also plays roles in other areas of health. Such as immune functions and cancer protection.
Where is Vit D found?
The rising sun is an effective way to get Vit D.
Vitamin d can be produced from cholesterol in your skin when exposed to ultraviolet (UVB) sunlight from the sun.
If you live in an area with abundant sunlight, you will likely get all the vitamin D you need by sunbathing several times a week.
Keep in mind that you need to expose a large part of your body. If you only expose your face and hands, it will produce much less Vit D.
Also, if you stay behind glass or use sunscreen, it will produce less Vit D – or none at all.
However, you should make sure to use sunscreen when staying in the sun for long periods. The sun is healthy, but sunburn can cause premature aging of the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer.
If you have been staying in the sun for a long time, consider going without sunscreen for the first 10-30 minutes – depending on your sensitivity to the sun – and then apply your sunscreen.
Since Vit D is stored in your body for weeks or months at a time, you may only need occasional sunlight to keep your blood levels adequate.
However, if you live in an area free from sufficient sunlight, getting vitamin D from foods or supplements is absolutely necessary – especially during the winter season.
The best sources of Vit D from food
Here is the Vitamin D3 content for a few of the best food sources:
The amount of vitamin D in foods
Pisces liver oil, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) 1,360 IU / 34 mcg 227%
Salmon, Cooked, (85 g) 447 IU / 11 mcg 75%
Tuna, canned in water, (85 g) 154 IU / 4 mcg 26%
Beef liver, cooked, (85 g) 42 IU / 1 mcg 7%
1 whole egg (D found in egg yolk) 41 IU / 1 mcg 7%
Sardines, canned in oil, drain 23 IU / 0.6 mcg 4%
Although fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, swordfish, trout, tuna, and sardines are good sources, you have to eat them daily to get enough.
The only excellent dietary source of Vit D is fish liver oil – like whale liver oil – that contains more than twice the daily intake (RDI) in one tablespoon (15 ml).
Vit D deficiency can lead to loss of bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones).
Vit D deficiency leads to osteoporosis and osteoporosis, causing bone weakness, bone pain, and muscle weakness.
For children, it leads to osteoporosis and rickets.
Researchers are studying Vit D to see its potential association with many medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. They need to do more research before they can understand the effects of vitamin D on these conditions.
Treating vitamin D deficiency
By exposure to sunlight
Eat foods rich in or fortified with vitamin D.
Take vitamin-containing pills
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency