Vitamin D3 – A Critical Nutrient

Vitamin D3 – A Critical Nutrient

Vitamin D is most commonly known as the sunshine vitamin. However, there has been a widespread debate on the ‘vitamin’ part of it, until it was finally established that it is a hormone as well as a vitamin! Do not be confused – here is the actual break-up. Vitamin D can be split into 2 categories – D2 and D3. While D2 is a vitamin, D3 is the hormone.

Myths and facts about Vitamin D2 and D3

Before coming to the myths or facts, let the difference between the two ‘parts’ of the sunshine vitamin be known . Starting with the Vitamin D2, it is synthesized by plants, yeast and fungi; it is scientifically known as ergocalciferol. While Vitamin D3 is called cholecalciferol. Both contain calcium and iron ions in their makeup and hence this name. Vitamin D2 can be fortified in our foods but Vitamin D3 cannot be. Note that Vitamin D3 is the more critical of the two. Vitamin D is also a fat soluble nutrient and hence is stored in the body’s reserve fat (Vitamin D3).

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is the hormone which is synthesized by the human body upon exposure to sunlight. It is the sun’s electromagnetic energy that activates the vitamin inside our body and helps maintain the body balance. Since foods are fortified with Vitamin D2 which is not useable by our bodies, the only sources of the important Vitamin D3 are natural sunlight, and supplements.

The actual action and reaction that goes on within the human body is that when sunlight reaches the human skin, Vitamin D synthesizes to form Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 has many important functions in the human body. The most important of which is the regulation of calcium and phosphorous in our body. This directly relates to the maintenance of our bones and teeth. Milk is one important food that stimulates the quick synthesis of Vitamin D3 in the body, in the event that the skin exposed to the sun.

The benefits of the vitamin are many and it is essential for bone growth and strength . This is also one of the several reasons why doctors tell mothers to make their kids play in the sun for some time , everyday – that increases their bone density and bone growth is also promoted . Even during pregnancy, Vitamin D3 helps reduce depression and emotional disorders in pregnant women. This is a multi-faceted Vitamin with many target areas.

Researchers have also found out that bone cancer or even problems associated with the bone marrow can be absolutely avoided and prevented in case the person has sufficient exposure to sun; however, one must be aware of the fact that excessive exposure to the sun can be harmful for the skin and can lead to skin complications.