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Vitamin D – An Essential Compound To Our Health

Vitamin D – An Essential Compound To Our Health

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a crucial compound that mediates several physiological functions in the body. This vitamin is unique since it functions more like a hormone, and every cell has its receptor.

The process of producing vitamin D in the body is absolutely fascinating and involves multi-step physiology that starts at the level of the skin

Here’s a summary about this process:

How vitamin D is produced?

Step one 

    • when the body synthesizes cholesterol, it will get converted at the skin level by a chemical reaction that involves sunlight exposure (i.e. photons).

Step two 

    • once the cholesterol is transformed into an active form of vitamin D, the liver will produce a special enzyme that catalyzes a second metabolic reaction.

Step three 

    • finally, the kidneys release an enzyme to produce the active form of vitamin D, which is known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol.

The active form of the vitamin provides several benefits to the body, including:

    • Improves bone mineral density and decreases the risk of osteoporosis
    • Facilitates hormonal regulation in both males and females
    • Helps manage blood sugar levels
    • Boosts the immune system
    • Reduces oxidative stress
    • Improves cardiovascular health
    • Sharpens memory and improves cognitive functions

 

Takeaway message

As you can see, vitamin D affects a multitude of organs and its deficiency can lead to dire consequences. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough sunlight exposure, hence the low levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream. This is especially true for individuals living in cloudy areas, such as Europe and North America.

To counter this issue, experts recommend taking vitamin D dietary supplements to meet your daily needs.

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