VITAMIN D: Why it is Important?

Your doctor ordered more annual blood tests and one of them checks your Vitamin D. Why is this still so important? Vitamin D is responsible for intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate and is critical to the process of bone mineralization.


Vitamin D deficiency is still very common and is associated with a variety of diseases, including osteoporosis, rickets in children, rheumatoid #arthritis, #diabetes, asthma, tooth decay, and cancer.


We also know hypervitaminosis D exists but is very rare. Toxicity is only seen after taking extremely high doses of Vitamin D for a prolonged period of time. Obtaining sufficient Vitamin D from natural food sources alone is difficult. Consumption of vitamin D-fortified foods and exposure to some sunlight are essential for maintaining a healthy vitamin D status.


Vitamin D is derived from dietary animal sources (D3/cholecalciferol ) such as #fish oils, salmon, #egg yolks, liver; from plant sources (D2 /ergocalciferol), mostly, UV exposed mushrooms; or fortified foods (#milk & some cereals) and by taking over the counter as Vitamin D2 or D3 supplements.


Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when adequate exposure to sunlight occurs giving it the name, “sunshine vitamin.” Some refer to Vitamin D as a hormone but this is not entirely true.


A process in the kidneys to produce the active form, calcium-regulating hormone, calcitriol (1,25 dihydroxy-vitamin D) is the actual #hormone.


Clinical laboratory serum measurements of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, (liver converts #Vitamin D to 25-Hydroxy) can accurately quantitate 25-Hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3 to give a total level and is the best indicator of vitamin D status.


Skin tone, body mass, and age all play a factor in your body’s Vitamin D production and requirements. The benefits of a normal vitamin D status far outway the alternative disease problems associated with #vitaminD #deficiency. Ask your doctor if you should take supplements and what dose is right for you.

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