What is Vitamin D3 and What Does it Do?
Vitamin D3, sometimes known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is produced naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods.
Although classified as a vitamin, D3 cleverly transforms into a hormone in the body and circulates in the bloodstream to help in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. This is perhaps one of the most vital functions that Vitamin D3 performs.
We know that calcium builds and strengthens teeth and bone mass and is vital for bone development and growth. In addition, Calcium plays a role in the production of hormones in the body by transmitting nerve impulses to the brain.
Almost 99% of your Vitamin D supply is used for regulating the calcium in the body; the remaining part is utilised for strengthening the immune system and maintaining muscle strength.
It also plays a role in the process of cell division as well as ensuring the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D3 is produced by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D through certain foods and supplements. It’s important to get enough of this vital nutrient so you don’t end up with a vitamin D deficiency.
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D3 5000iu is a high strength 1 a day tablet.
- Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption/utilisation of calcium and phosphorus
- Vitamin D contributes to normal blood calcium levels
- Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones
- Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function
- Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal teeth
- Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system
- Nutrition Information Per Tablet (% Reference Intake)
Vitamin D 125µg 2500%
Vitamin D may also reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis and depression.
Vitamin D Boosts Bone Health
A close up of a bone matrix.
Your body needs vitamin D to help absorb the calcium and phosphorus in your diet that makes for strong bones. Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone loss, low bone density, and increase your chances of breaking bones. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause rickets in children and a condition called osteomalacia in adults. Symptoms may include weakness and bone pain.
Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis
People with multiple sclerosis has vitamin D deficiency.
Higher blood levels of vitamin D seem to be associated with a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). A recent study shows vitamin D may slow the progression of the disease, though the connection between the vitamin and MS is not clear. It is unknown if low levels of vitamin D cause MS or are a result of the disease. MS is more common in areas north of the equator, suggesting that the amount of sunshine one receives is connected to their likelihood of developing MS. People are less likely to develop MS if they have higher vitamin D levels. Supplementation with vitamin D may be beneficial for MS patients, but the dose is yet to be determined.
Vitamin D and Diabetes
People with diabetes and a vitamin D deficiency checking her blood glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not use insulin properly and blood sugar levels can rise above normal. Researchers are looking into whether vitamin D can help regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, and calcium helps manage sugar in the blood. Studies have found people with vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, but the link is not conclusive. More research is needed to determine if vitamin D supplementation can help people with type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D and Weight Loss
A people with a vitamin D deficiency jumping rope.
Obesity is a risk factor for low vitamin D levels because the more weight you carry, the more vitamin D your body requires. Studies have also shown vitamin D deficiency may increase your risk of becoming obese later in life. One small study found women with low levels of vitamin D might be more prone to gain weight. Vitamin D and calcium may act as an appetite suppressant as well.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Depression
A depressed people with a vitamin D deficiency in bed.
There may be an association between low levels of vitamin D and depression, but studies show mixed results and further research is needed. Vitamin D receptors in the brain have been linked to the development of depression. Vitamin D itself may not ward off depression, but patients who are taking antidepressants along with vitamin D may help reduce symptoms of depression.
Sunlight and Vitamin D
A soaking up vitamin D from the sun.
The easiest way to get vitamin D is by exposing your skin to direct sunlight, specifically, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The more you expose your skin, the more vitamin D your body produces. You only need to spend about half as much time as it takes to turn pink and get sunburn. This means if you are fair-skinned and normally start to turn pink in 30 minutes, you only need 15 minutes of pre-sunscreen sun exposure to produce the vitamin D3 your body needs. The darker your skin, the more time you need in the sun to produce vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D you get from sun exposure depends on the time of day, your skin tone, where you live, and how much skin you expose.
Vitamin D Deficiency
A eating breakfast.
People may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency if they dislike the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or stick to a vegan diet. People with dark skin may also be at risk for developing vitamin D deficiency. This is because the pigment melanin reduces their skin’s ability to make vitamin D after sun exposure. Other risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:
Covering your skin with clothing or SPF all the time
Obesity or gastric bypass surgery
Infants who are breastfed and not given a vitamin D supplement
Living in northern regions where there are fewer hours of sunlight
Being older (your skin is thinner)
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
An x-ray of a pelvis with osteomalacia, a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms may be very general. You might have aches, pains and fatigue or you may have no symptoms at all. If your vitamin D deficiency is severe, you may suffer from bone pain and reduced mobility. In adults, severe vitamin D deficiency is called osteomalacia, and in children a severe deficiency can lead to rickets (softening and weakening of bones).
Allergy Advice: Allergens (if any) highlighted in bold
Take 1 tablet per day with a little water.
Food supplements must not be used as substitute a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. We recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women seek medical advice before use. If you are taking any medications, have an existing medical condition or are due to under go surgery, please consult a doctor before use. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur. Not intended for use by persons under the age of 18. Keep out of reach of children. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not exceed stated dose.