Vitamin D3 Background and Benefits
Vitamin D3, known chemically as cholecalciferol, is one of vitamin D’s five forms. It is chemically classified as a secosteroid, meaning that it is a steroid with an open ring.
The American biochemist Elmer McCollum discovered a factor in cod liver oil that cured rickets in dogs in 1922. He named it vitamin D, believing it that it couldn’t be synthesized in the body. However, the American physician Alfred Fabian Hess determined in 1925 that cholecalciferol is biosynthesized. The term “vitamin D” is therefore technically a misnomer, although it remains in common usage.
Vitamin D3 is biosynthesized from 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is found in the skin’s epidermal layer. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun induces an electrocyclic reaction, resulting in the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is considered the natural form of Vitamin D and is known to be much more bio-available than other Vitamin D forms.
The commercial production of vitamin D3 begins with extracting cholesterol from sheep’s wool. A four-step chemical process converts cholesterol to 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is converted to vitamin D3 with UV light. A variety of chemical techniques remove unwanted byproducts to produce a resin that’s typically 60 to 75 percent vitamin D3.
Uses of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 performs many essential functions in the human body that typically relate to bone formation. These benefits include support for healthy levels of calcium and phosphate as well as dental health.
Dental health support
Oral supplements of vitamin D3 may help to keep your teeth healthy.
Bone health support
Oral vitamin D3 supplements may help support the natural ability of bones to maintain their normal hardness. This is especially beneficial in the presence of liver conditions that cause bones to soften.
Vitamin D3 may help to support healthy levels of calcium in the blood. Low calcium levels can result from some types of poor kidney function.
Vitamin D3 may help to maintain phosphate levels, which can result from some genetic disorders.
Signs You May Need Vitamin D3
The most significant signs that you may need vitamin D3 supplements include bone discomfort and muscle weakness. This deficiency is also associated with asthma in children and poor cognitive function in older adults. A strict vegetarian diet is one of the most common causes of low vitamin D3 levels, since animal fats are the most abundant dietary sources of vitamin D. You may also benefit from vitamin D3 if you have limited exposure to sunlight.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Calcium - Calcium is a chemical element with the atomic number 20. It is essential for all life forms, primarily for signaling in many biochemical processes. Calcium is also a major component in bones, shells and teeth.
Vitamin K2 - Vitamin K2 is the common name for a group of chemicals known as menaquinones. They are essential for blood coagulation among many other biochemical functions.