Vitamin D is a group of 5 fat soluble vitamins, with D2 D3 the most common forms. Vitamin D is truly unique because it can be synthesized in the body with adequate exposure to the sun. It is also obtained from foods such as fatty fish, egg and liver. However, many staple foods, such as bread and cereal, are now fortified with additional vitamin d. Let’s take a look at why this vitamin is so important for our health.
What is vitamin d important?
One of the most important functions of vitamin d is to promote calcium absorption. It also a part of bone resorption and plays a large role in maintaining calcium levels in the body. This means that vitamin d is essential for strong and healthy bones. A vitamin d deficiency can cause a disease called rickets. Sufferers of this disease have soft bones, which may lead to bone fractures or deformities.
Vitamin d also has an important function in the immune system. Research has shown that the vitamin helps to increase the activity of the natural killer cells. It also helps to increase the production of a specific antimicrobial peptide that is responsible for ridding the body of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
There is some research to suggest that vitamin d helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin D3 has also been used for the treatment of tuberculosis in the past, but the effectiveness of this treatment causes much debate. Other unreliable or untested medical uses for vitamin d include HIV, flu and cancer prevention or treatment.