What is vitamin
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that's present in some
foods and created in our own bodies when the ultraviolet
rays from the sun stimulate its production. Then two
metabolic processes - one in the liver, the other in the
kidney convert it to its active form - Calcitriol
(1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol). This form is a prohormone,
meaning it boosts the strength of other bodily
What does vitamin
D do - why do we need it?
Vitamin D picks up calcium from your stomach
and puts it into your blood, which makes that essential
nutrient available for wherever it needs to go. With
calcium circulating in the blood, the body can send it to
muscles - like to keep your heart beating, for example, or
your bones and keep them strong. Without vitamin D we would
not have enough circulating calcium. Vitamin D is one of
the most important vitamins the body needs to make mineral
deposits in your bone bank.
Vitamin D also plays a role in regulating cells growth,
immunity, reducing inflammation and the function of nerves
What are low
vitamin D symptoms?
Lack of vitamin D causes a number of serious
bone health risks. The earliest sign is abnormal softening
or thinning of cranial bones. The next most common sign in
adults is osteomalacia, with its muscle weakness and
fragile bones. In children, low vitamin D can produce
rickets, in which the lack of vitamin D inhibits their long
bones from developing properly. Vitamin D provides the
first phase of the courier service for minerals, carrying
both calcium and phosphorus from the gut or reabsorbing
phosphorus in the kidney.
What are symptoms
of high vitamin D?
Vitamin D toxicity, or hypervitaminosis D symptoms can
include: being dehydrated, irritability, constipation,
anorexia (diminished appetite), fatigue and muscle
weakness. It can also cause hypercalcemia, (abnormally
elevated blood concentrations of calcium). During the
body's attempts to eliminate it, the excess calcium may be
deposited in soft tissues such as the heart, the inside of
arteries, generating hypertension, and producing gall or
Excess D from the sun can also cause skin
cancer. Additionally, it can also cause bone loss by
leaching calcium from bones back into tissues, taking bone
bank deposits out of bones and returning it to blood, thus
actually contributing to the development of osteoporosis.
This is a danger encountered by those taking a number of
over-the-counter supplements, as many are fortified with
vitamin D but not reported on the label.
Because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin,
it builds up in the fatty tissues of the body, allowing the
appearance of toxicity symptoms to be delayed as long as a
few months after overdose. That said, the good news is that
storing vitamin D means that lots of skin exposure during
the summer allows storage for winter.
High vitamin D levels can be addressed with massive doses
of vitamin D's natural antagonist, essential fatty acids,
also known as vitamin F.