Health Benefits of Vitamin D3

What is vitamin D3

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. There are five different versions of this vitamin. Two, of the major ones, are vitamin D2 known as ergocalciferol and vitamin D3 known as cholecalciferol.

Vitamin D2 is manufactured by the plants. Vitamin D3 is manufactured by animal skin in response to ultraviolet light exposure or the sunlight. Sunlight reacts with an enzyme known as 7-dehydrocholesterol and produces pre-vitamin D. This output reconfigures its constitution and produces vitamin D3. Subsequently, an enzyme turns the vitamin D3 into a compound known as calcitriol. Calcitriol is the actual version of vitamin D that results in several health benefits.


How is it sourced

A medium by which vitamin D is derived is exposure to sunlight. Lighter skin color absorbs more sunlight proportionately as compared to darker skin color. The sunlight behaves like a starter that begins the process of a chemical reaction. Due to this process, a type of cholesterol in the skin is turned into a substance known as pre-vitamin D3.

Another process of chemical reactions takes place in the liver and the kidneys to produce the active version of vitamin D. This is one option of getting sufficient amounts of this vital nutrient.


How is it beneficial for health

If milk cannot be consumed, vitamin D3 produced in the body permits drawing the benefits of this nutrient by a non-dietary method. It does not imply that vitamin D should not be sourced from the diet. However, for those who are lactose intolerant, exposure to sunlight and other dietary sources of vitamin D aid in getting the daily recommended allowance.

This vitamin is vital for strengthening the bones and the teeth. The body requires it to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Calcium renders several benefits beyond the skeletal system. The nutrient also enables proper muscle and nerve function as well as metabolizes sugar.

This vitamin reduces hot flashes amongst menopausal women. Vitamin D3 in association with calcium and other vital nutrients aids in maintaining sufficient bone density to reduce the risks of developing osteoporosis. Generally, menopausal women are at a greater risk of developing this disorder.

Research has indicated that calcitriol strengthens the role of existing antioxidants and possesses antioxidant properties. A study (Garcion et al, 1997) found that calcitriol acts like traditional antioxidants by inhibiting inducible nitric oxide synthase that is overactive in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Low levels of vitamin D3 are responsible for multiple sclerosis, by which the immune system acts against the central nervous system and leads to demyelination and axon degeneration. Occurrence of this disease is linked to diminishing exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation.

Vitamin D3 plays a major role in the treatment of certain types of cancers. In 2010, the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology showed that vitamin D3 limited the advance of prostate cancer. In 2010 again, Experimental Oncology stated that supplementing vitamin D3 aids the treatment of Lewis lung carcinoma.

An advantage of vitamin D3 is seen in the treatment of psoriasis. It results in an itchy and inflamed skin that is very uncomfortable. Creams with cortisone are prescribed. A 2010 study in Drugs of Today found supplementing these medications with vitamin D3 could improve their effectiveness, offering relief for psoriasis sufferers.


In conclusion

The variety of vitamin D that is produced by humans and other animals is called vitamin D3. The health advantages of vitamin D3 significantly overshadow the benefits derived from vitamin B2, the plant variety of the vitamin. For those who follow a strict vegetarian diet and avoid the sun, supplements of vitamin D3 need to be considered to gain the full advantages of this nutrient.