Vitamin D is actually a collection of compounds that mainly helps in the increasing absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate in the intestine. Two of the most important types of vitamin D are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. Vitamin D is made in our skin or absorbed from food and starts from there as an inactive form. It then travels to the liver from which it is packaged into circulation form to the kidney for unpacking. Unpacking of the circulating form of vitamin D results in its activation and activated vitamin D is 100 times more effective than the circulating form of vitamin D.
The effect of Vitamin D-induced absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus is most prominent on bones by maintaining their strength and also helps in the breakdown of old worn-out bone and building new bone in its place.
On consideration, it may sound strange but direct sunlight is actually the major source of vitamin D. The sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet rays; UVA and UVB. UVB rays interact with a category of cholesterol in the skin to make vitamin D. Now, why only direct sunlight? The reason is that UVB rays of sunlight get blocked by the glass while UVA gets passed. Therefore, sunbathing is only relevant outside a chamber, whatever it may be; house, car, or office.
Some major sources of vitamin D are as follows:
The condition of weak bones is not a foreign concept for anyone. In children this condition can cause Rickets and in adults, Osteomalacia. In these diseases, patients can develop aching pain and can even get fractured bones in unusual places. Both Rickets and Osteomalacia are the consequences of vitamin D deficiency in the body.
Also, vitamin D works by binding to the receptor called vitamin D receptor. This receptor is almost on the nucleus of every cell in the body. So it is assumed that vitamin D can have diverse effects in the body but the results of the studies of the link between vitamin D deficiency and other diseases like cancer, heart disease, and immune-based conditions are none.
The quantity of need of vitamin D intake from the food depends upon the skin type and also UV exposure of the body.
People who are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency and can benefit from vitamin D supplementations are; older people who are at risk of fractures, people who are dark-skinned and live in cold climates, and women who are already vitamin D deficient and who are planning pregnancy.
Other than these people, sunlight in balanced amounts is enough for vitamin D to get moderate in the body. As vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in the body for long periods and then be released when necessary. This also means that vitamin D cannot be gotten rid of if taken too much and this implies that vitamin D from supplementations can reach toxic levels in the body. Toxicity by vitamin D can cause Hypercalcaemia, especially in infants.
Vitamin D3 prevents protein excretion in patients who have diabetes and kidney disease. In a study, the patients who got vitamin D3 had less protein and transforming growth factor beta which is responsible for the development of fibrosis in kidneys.
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