Now a new, higher strength Vitamin D3, in capsule form
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.
The majority of vitamin D in the body is created during skin exposure to sunlight, but 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.
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 D is also responsible for maintaining healthy muscles and nerves, and for maintaining a healthy immune system.
What do you take vitamin D3 for?
Vitamin D deficiency is rare. In children a lack of vitamin D may result in rickets (softening of the bones leading to ‘bow legs') although this has practically been eradicated in the Western world. In adults, deficiency may result in osteomalacia, (softening of the bones and muscle weakness). Deficiencies may also appear in strict vegetarians, people who do not have any exposure to the sun and 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.
Which is the best form to take?
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the most easily absorbed form of vitamin D.
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. People who receive adequate sunlight exposure do not need as much vitamin D in their diet as those who receive minimal exposure. Pregnant and lactating women and those on medication should seek professional advice prior to taking nutritional supplements.