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A Guide to the D Vitamin

Aug 19, 2008
The D vitamin is the only one of the vitamin that is not obtained from foods that are consumed. Instead, it is actually obtained by sunlight on the skin. There has been a lot of media coverage about the dangers of getting too much sun but it is essential that the skin is exposed to sunlight to obtain the recommended daily allowance of the D vitamin.

In reality, the amount of time that a person would be required to spend in the sun to receive a sufficient dose of the vitamin is extremely small and just a few minutes a day will be sufficient and not have any adverse effects from the amount of ultra-violet light received.

The most important function of the D vitamin is to help control how much calcium is absorbed from food. The majority of the calcium absorbed is used to build strong teeth and bones but it is also needed to send messages along the nerves and to help muscles, such as the heart muscles, to contract.

It will also ensure that there is always sufficient calcium in the blood to perform these tasks. Other functions that require it relate to the body's immune system and it is believed that it is also a contributing factor in reducing the risk of contracting cancer and, in particular, colon cancer.

The variant of the vitamin that is formed under the skin is known as vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. This D vitamin is created when the ultraviolet in the sunlight reacts with a type of cholesterol that is found under the skin naturally.

The D3 is converted into a more active form of the d vitamin in the liver and is then diverted to where it is needed the most. Some of it still remains in the liver and kidneys to help reabsorb the calcium from the blood. The rest of it is dispersed to the bones to help them retain their calcium and the intestines to aid absorption of calcium from food.

Even though the majority of it is formed through the exposure of the skin to ultraviolet from the sunlight there are some foods out there that do contain some of the vitamin naturally. This form of the vitamin is typically known as vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol. This is used in the same way as the others and is the type used to create the majority of the supplements.
About the Author
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor and co founder of Free Affiliate Programs

For more information and resource links on vitamins visit: Foods With Vitamin D
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