Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is unique because it is the only nutrient that can be synthesized by the skin from ultraviolet rays. In the food supply, there is a paucity of foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Instead most dietary vitamin D is consumed through fortified foods, although still in relatively small amounts. Vitamin D supplements are a prudent option to fill nutrient gaps that often exist for this crucial micronutrient.† Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, is plant-derived, while vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, is animal-derived and is the body’s preferred form based on research that demonstrates its superior ability to raise and maintain vitamin D levels in the blood.1†
As the scientific body of literature matures, the diversity of vitamin D’s influence in the body is being elucidated. Receptors for vitamin D have been discovered in cells throughout the body. Currently, the strongest science supports vitamin D’s role in bone, teeth, muscle and immune health. By enhancing calcium absorption from food and supplements and playing an important role in calcium and phosphorus homeostasis and bone remodeling processes, vitamin D supports strong bones and teeth. 2,3
In fact, vitamin D deficiency results in bone softening and deformation, referred to as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. In combination with calcium, vitamin D supports bone mineralization processes, and inadequate intake of these nutrients increases one’s risk for osteoporosis, falls, and fractures.2 ,3 Additionally, normal muscle and immune system function require vitamin.