Vitamin D is a unique nutrient that has a vital role in various aspects of our health. Unlike other vitamins, it can be produced by our own bodies when exposed to sunlight. Hence, it is often called the “sunshine vitamin.” However, its benefits are not limited to bone health, as it also supports the immune system, the mood, and the mental well-being.
We will dive into the details of Vitamin D, exploring its different forms and functions, and how it contributes to a healthier and happier life.
1) Understanding Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has several functions in the body. This section will explain the different forms of Vitamin D, namely D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol), and how the body produces and uses this essential nutrient, especially through exposure to sunlight.
What are the Forms and Sources of Vitamin D ?
Vitamin D exists in two main forms: D2 and D3. Both forms are biologically inactive and need to be converted into active forms by the liver and the kidneys.
Vitamin D2 VS Vitamin D3 :
- Vitamin D2 is derived from plants and fungi, and can be found in some foods, such as mushrooms, fortified cereals, and plant-based milks. Vitamin D2 can also be obtained from supplements, which are usually made from yeast or algae.
- Vitamin D3 is derived from animals and can be found in some foods, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, liver, and cheese. Vitamin D3 can also be obtained from supplements, which are usually made from lanolin or fish oil. However, the most important source of Vitamin D3 is the sun, as the human body can synthesize it from a precursor molecule called 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is present in the skin.