Vitamin D is the name of a group of fat soluble secosteroids. The most important members of this group in the human body are D3 and D2. Members of the Vitamin D group help with the intestinal absorption of calcium, phosphate, zinc, magnesium and iron. These minerals are important for healthy teeth, bones and muscles. Vitamin D also has a role to play in cell division.
Sources Of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3, like other members of the vitamin D group, is mainly sourced from sunlight. The vitamin is made under the skin in reaction to sunlight. Between late April/Early March until the end of September, most people can produce enough Vitamin D3 when they are outdoors. Although it is still important to cover up when out in the sun, so as to not get burnt. However from October to late March people in the UK will not get any Vitamin D from sunlight.
There are small amounts of Vitamin D in some foods. You can find Vitamin D in:
- Oily fish;
- Egg yolk;
- Red meat.
Not Enough And Too Much
Having too much or too little Vitamin D can cause problems.
A deficiency can cause rickets in children. It can also cause bone pain, tenderness and even osteomalacia. This can happen by not having enough Vitamin D in the diet or not having enough exposure to sunlight.
Too much Vitamin D can cause too much calcium to be absorbed into the body. As there is more excess than the body can excrete this results in high levels of calcium in the blood. This, in turn, can weaken the bones and cause damage to the heart and kidneys.
You can easily purchase supplements of vitamin D. The Serranol complex contains Vitamin D3. It may be advisable to take a supplement during the winter months when you are unable to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D. People who are rarely outdoors or who cover up completely when outside may also consider a supplement.
However, before taking supplements make sure you consult a medical professional, especially if you are on other medication, pregnant or breastfeeding.