What is vitamin D3?
Vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) is a fat soluble vitamin which plays an important role in maintaining blood levels of calcium, maintaining healthy bones and teeth as well as a healthy immune system.
The majority of vitamin D in the body is created during skin exposure to sunlight, but many people in Northern Europe and the USA do not get adequate exposure. Small amounts of vitamin D can also be found in egg yolk, fish oils and oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel. Cholecalciferol is an animal source of vitamin D3 (derived from lanolin).
Pharma Nord's Vitamin D3 is specially formulated in gel 'pearls'. Our preparation is dissolved in cold pressed organic olive oil to enhance absorption. It contains the cholecalciferol form of D3, which is produced naturally in the skin.
How does vitamin D3 work?
Vitamin D3 increases the absorption of calcium from food and reduces the excretion of calcium from the body. These effects ensure that calcium levels are maintained and allow adequate levels to be stored in bones and teeth. If blood calcium levels are too low, calcium may be mobilised from bones for use elsewhere in the body, resulting in bone weakening. Vitamin D3 is also responsible for maintaining healthy muscles and nerves, and for maintaining a healthy immune system.
What do you take vitamin D3 for?
In children a lack of vitamin D may result in rickets (softening of the bones leading to ‘bow legs') In adults, deficiency may result in osteomalacia, (softening of the bones and muscle weakness). Deficiencies may also appear in strict vegetarians, pregnant women and people who do not have any exposure to the sun as well as those with intestinal malabsorption. The body's ability to manufacture vitamin D declines with age, and vitamin D deficiency is more common in the elderly.
Studies have shown that vitamin D may stimulate the body's production of anti-viral and anti-bacterial proteins. Some experts say they would choose vitamin D before vitamin C when considering cold and flu protection.
How much should you take?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D3 is 5mcg per day. This amount is purely to avoid deficiency and has long been viewed as inadequate, (for more information ask for our leaflet ‘Why the RDA is not enough'). Pharma Nord recommends 800 International Units (IU) to 5000 IU per day or as recommended by a physician.
Which is the best form to take?
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the most easily absorbed form of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is lipisoluble (dissolves in oil), so an oil-based preparation is best.
Are there any contra-indications?
Vitamin D supplementation is generally well tolerated. People with hyperparathyroidism and sarcoidosis should not take vitamin D supplements without the consent of a doctor. Pregnant and lactating women and those on medication should seek professional advice prior to taking nutritional supplements. For more news on vitamin D and pregnancy visit this article on the BBC News website.