Vitamin D, also known as cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble nutrient that is responsible for various functions and processes in the body. It helps in the absorption of minerals in the intestine, like calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc.
Cholecalciferol can be found in a few food sources. The major natural source of this is through the synthesis of cholecalciferol in the skin from cholesterol, through a chemical reaction that is dependent on exposure to the sun, specifically UV radiation.
Mainly, this essential nutrient helps in keeping our bones and teeth healthy. It promotes absorption and use of calcium and phosphate. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts.
Cholecalciferol has other roles in the body. It helps in cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and also helps reduce inflammation.
Vitamin D Food Sources
There are very few food sources that contain this nutrient. This can be found in the flesh of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, cod, swordfish, and mackerel. Fish liver oils are also best sources of this. Little amounts of cholecalciferol are also found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. There are also some mushrooms that provide this.
There are also fortified foods that have been produced that contain the most of this. Examples of which are breakfast cereals, some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and other food products. It can also be found in milk, whether it is nonfat, reduced fat, or whole milk.
Sun exposure in the morning is also a very good source of cholecalciferol. But this should also be taken into consideration. There can be factors that can affect UV radiation exposure and its synthesis. But based on what is recommended, you can expose yourself to the sun for approximately 5-30 minutes in the early hours of the morning when the sun has risen. You can do this at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen, to get the sufficient amount of cholecalciferol that your body needs for synthesis.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Nutrient deficiencies are usually the result of inadequate nutrients in the diet, impaired absorption and use, increased requirement, or increased excretion. Cholecalciferol deficiency can happen when usual dietary intake is less than recommended levels over time, limited exposure to sunlight when the kidneys cannot function well to convert it to its active form, or if there is an inadequate absorption of the nutrient from the digestive tract. These can be some of the factors that can affect or cause nutrient deficiencies. People who are usually lactose intolerant or have milk allergies are more prone to these deficiencies.
Rickets, the disease that is caused by cholecalciferol deficiency, is characterized by failure of the bone tissue to properly mineralize. As a result, bones will soften, causing skeletal deformities. This disease is usually common in children. In adults, a lack of this essential nutrient may lead to osteomalacia. This disease can weaken your bones. Symptoms may include bone pain and muscle weakness. These symptoms can go undetected during the earlier stages of the disease.
Getting adequate nutrients is important. We should always be cautious of our diet, to make sure we are getting all the essential nutrients our body needs in order to function well. If it is something that cannot be easily found in food sources, supplements are your best option.
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To Maintaining Good Health,
The ARIIX Products Team
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