Nutritional Guide

Vitamin D (Also known as: Cholecalciferol (D3), Ergocalciferol (D2))

Beneficial For :

  • Rickets

Why you need it?

Vitamin D's most important role is maintaining blood levels of calcium, which it accomplishes by increasing absorption of calcium from food and reducing urinary calcium loss. Both effects keep calcium in the body and therefore spare the calcium that is stored in the bones. When necessary, vitamin D transfers calcium from the bone into the bloodstream, which does not benefit bones. Vitamin D plays a role in immunity and blood cell formation. Vitamin D also helps cells "differentiate" – a process that may reduce the risk of cancer.

Vitamin D can be considered both a vitamin and a hormone.

Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining adequate blood levels of insulin and may assist the metabolism of sugar.

Vitamin D, functions to: Increase the absorption of calcium from the intestines by stimulating the synthesis of calcium-binding protein. This occurs in the brush border of the intestinal mucosa. Increase the resorption of calcium from bone. Increase serum calcium levels. Once this occurs calcium can then be stored in the bones. Thus, even though it initially causes bone resorption, the net effect is to increase calcium deposition in the bone.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Rickets: In children. A malformation of the bones due to decreased deposition of calcium phosphate (hydroxyapatite). The signs and symptoms of this disease in young infants are restlessness, poor sleep and reduced mineralization of the skull away from the sutures. In older infants, sitting and crawling are delayed; bossing of the skull and costochondrol beading (rachitic rosary) occur. There is also enlargement of epiphyseal growth plates, especially noted in the radius and ulna. Failure of the fontanels to close results in a large head with delayed teeth eruption, stunted growth, bow legs or knock knees.

Osteomalacia: In adults. A skeletal demineralization especially in the spine, pelvis and lower extremities. Signs and symptoms of osteo-malacia are burning mouth and throat , nervousness, diarrhoea and insomnia.

Good Food Sources:

Cod liver oil, vitamin D-fortified foods. Traces in egg yolks and butter. However, the majority of vitamin D in the body is created during a chemical reaction that starts with sunlight exposure to the skin.

Precautions

GRAS- Generally recognized as safe. No adverse reactions, side effects or overdose symptoms expected when taken within the recommended amounts.

Anyone on prednisone or other cortisone-like drugs for a significant period of time (more than 2-3weeks) should also be on vitamin D.

Excessive levels of vitamin D intake over an extended period can lead to headaches, kidney stones and weight loss. Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, increased thirst, increased urination, irritability, failure to gain weight in children. More extreme consequences include blindness, deafness and potentially, death.

Vitamin D intake increases both calcium and phosphorus absorption. While the increased levels of calcium associated with enhanced vitamin D status may be an indicator of benefit for those at risk for bone loss, elevated blood levels of calcium may also be associated with increased risk of heart disease. High vitamin D intake may contribute to increased absorption of aluminum.

Sarcoidosis who have elevated blood levels of calcium. Hyperpartathyroidism.

The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. Neither the information provided nor products supplied or offered should be construed to be in any way substitutes for medical attention or prescribed medication. Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or herbal remedies if you are suffering from an undiagnosed illness or if you are on prescribed medication.