What is vitamin D3 and what’s it good for? You’ll find the answers to those questions by reading this article.
Cholecalciferol is the scientific name for what we commonly call vitamin D3. Although the nutrients in the “D” group are commonly called vitamins, they are actually secosteroids, molecules that are similar to steroids except for a slightly different molecular structure.
Cholecalciferol is produced by the skin during exposure to UVB radiation. While we have come to think of sunlight exposure as “bad” due to the risk of wrinkles and skin cancer, your body needs some sunlight in order to produce cholecalciferol. Recent increases in Vitamin D deficiencies are believed to be caused in part by excessive use of sunscreen, avoidance of sunlight exposure and spending most of our time indoors. If you live in northern latitudes (in the U.S., this means anywhere north of Albuquerque, NM, then you don’t get enough UVB rays year round for optimal blood levels of D3 which is why it’s important to supplement your diet.)
Since cholecalciferol is produced by the skin, it is considered the most “natural” form of the nutrient. Many health supplement manufacturers recommend and include this form in their multi-vitamins, even though it is more expensive than other forms of vitamin D. It is the most readily absorbed form of the nutrient, meaning you get more out of a supplement when it includes that form. Unfortunately, most supplements only contain 400 – 1000 iu of Vitamin D3, which is simply not enough.
What is vitamin D3 good for? It’s good for your bones!
Fortifying vitamin D with milk began to reduce the incidence of rickets in children. Rickets is the childhood form of osteomalacia, a softening of the bones. Osteomalacia can also occur in adulthood due to inadequate intake of the nutrient. Inadequate intake is also linked to osteoporosis, a decrease in bone mineralization that results in an increase in bone fractures among the elderly.
It’s good for your immune system!
Inadequate intake has been linked to an increased risk of viral infections…colds, flu bugs, etc. Inadequate exposure to sunlight and a resulting decrease in production of cholecalciferol is theorized to be the reason that influenza is more common during the wintertime.
What is vitamin D3 good for during pregnancy? If you are a woman who is pregnant or plans to become pregnant, you should know that low blood levels of the nutrient are associated with gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and smaller infants. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and increases your risk of developing type II diabetes in the future. Pre-eclampsia can lead to eclampsia, which is a life-threatening medical condition for both mother and baby.
Recent research has also associated inadequate intake and/or low blood levels with multiple sclerosis, autism and certain kinds of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancers. Deficiency has also been linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Of course, association does not equal causation, but it is still important to supplement if you don’t live in an area where you can get adequate regular sun exposure.
So, what is vitamin D3? It’s a hormone that we need to have strong bones, a strong immune system and generally good health throughout our lives.
Get started taking your daily dose of Vitamin D3 5000 iu now and get a complimentary copy of 7 Secrets About Vitamin D3 Most Doctors Don’t Know!