An Overview and Guide of D Vitamin

The vitamin D is the only vitamin not derived from ingested foods. Instead, the vitamin D is naturally obtained on the skin by sunlight. There has been a lot of media reports about the risks of having too much sun but it's important that the skin is exposed to sunlight in order to get the required daily D vitamin allowance. In fact, the amount of time a person has to spend in the sun to obtain a proper dose of D vitamin is extremely low, and just a few minutes a day will suffice and have no adverse effects from the amount of ultraviolet light received.

The D-vitamin's most important purpose is to help regulate how much calcium is absorbed from food. Most calcium is used to create strong teeth and bones, but transmitting signals along the nerves and helping muscles, such as the heart muscles, contract is also required. It is the D vitamin that ensures the calcium in the blood is still adequate to perform certain tasks. Many roles that involve D vitamin contribute to the immune system, and it is also believed to be a key factor in reducing the risk of contracting cancer and colon cancer in particular.

The vitamin D type that is produced underneath the skin is known as vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. This D vitamin is produced when the ultraviolet interacts in the sunlight with a form of cholesterol that is naturally present under the skin. The D3 is formed into a more active form of d vitamin in the liver, and then is transferred to where it is most required. Some of the D vitamin stays in the liver and kidneys to help the blood reabsorb the calcium. The majority of the vitamin D is spread into the bones to help them preserve their calcium and intestines to aid with calcium absorption from food.

While most of the D vitamin is produced by skin exposure to sunlight, there are some foods which naturally contain some of the vitamin. This form of the vitamin D is referred to as vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol. This is used in the same manner as the other D vitamins, and is the form used to produce most D vitamin supplements.

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