Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. Vitamin D is the principle regulator of calcium homeostasis in the body. It is essential for skeletal development and bone mineralization. Inadequate exposure to sunlight contributes to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency in adults can lead to osteoporosis. Increasing evidence is accumulating that vitamin D may also contribute to antioxidant function by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. The mechanism of the antioxidant effect is unknown. Vitamin D is also needed for adequate blood levels of insulin and it also appears to demonstrate both immune enhancing and immunosuppressive effects.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
Supplemental vitamin D is available as vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is considered to be the more biologically active form of the vitamin and at this time is the form most recommended for repletion.