Friday, July 29, 2011

What is Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), and Why is it Important?

Vitamin D3 - Cholecalciferol

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) - The Nutrient of the Century

Vitamin D3 is a form of vitamin D. It is also referred to as cholecalciferol and calciol. Cholecalciferol is the raw form of the nutrient that humans obtain through exposure to sunlight. Calciol is the form the nutrient takes after it has been processed for use by the body.

Vitamin D3 is a secosteroid and a fat-soluble hormone. It is structurally similar to steroids such as testosterone, cholesterol and cortisol.

Humans can obtain vitamin D3 is a variety of different ways. First, the nutrient is naturally present in certain foods such as eggs and cold water fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines. The primary means through which humans ingest vitamin D3 is direct exposure to sunlight, hence why it is commonly referred to as the "sunshine vitamin." Individuals who cannot obtain enough vitamin D3 through sun exposure and diet are advised to take a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.

It is important for those who take vitamin D supplements to make sure the supplements they are taking are of vitamin D3 and not vitamin D2. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, is made from plant-based materials. It is synthetic, and is not as bioavailable (also known as "bioidentical") as is D3. Cholecalciferol is five-times (or 500%) more bioavailable than Ergocalciferol, which means that D3 is converted into a usable form by the body at a rate five times faster than is the case with D2.

Vitamin D3 supplements have been shown to help to prevent a laundry list of diseases and illnesses.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency, also known as vitamin D insufficiency, is a condition involving chronically low levels of 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol in the blood.

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increases propensity for diagnosis of more than 30 different diseases, illnesses and health problems.

The complete list of diseases and ailments linked to vitamin D deficiency is below:
  • Breast Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer's
  • Autism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Allergies
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Depression
  • AIDS
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rickets
  • Influenza
  • H1N1 Flu
  • Various Autoimmune Disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lung Transplant Rejection
  • Asthma
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Chronic Pain
  • Tooth Loss
  • Gingivitis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Arterial Stiffness
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Psoriatic Arthritis

For more information about diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency, please see the article about vitamin D deficiency appearing at the Vitamin D3 Blog.

Video: What is Vitamin D Deficiency?

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