Friday, November 26, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency and Vitamin D3

I have talked with many people about Vitamin D Deficiency and Vitamin D3. One of the subjects that keeps repeating is how tough it is to get people to take this seriously. The consensus seems to be that it is because it is called a vitamin and we tend to think of it as something we get from food. I have heard many people refer to Vitamin D3 as a hormone and while that isn't exactly true, the body essentially converts Vitamin D3 to a hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. Beyond that, if you are getting the right amount of Vitamin D3 then you get an additional benefit of disease prevention.

Cholecalciferol is Vitamin D3 which is made naturally when skin is exposed to the sun and  uses cholesterol in the process. You can also get Vitamin D3 from some foods and by taking Vitamin D3 supplements.

Cholecalciferol is converted in the liver to Calcidiol which is what is measured with a blood test. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D test results show what the blood serum level is for Calcidiol. 

Calcidiol is converted in the kidneys to Calcitriol which is a steroid hormone. The Calcitriol(hormone) regulates the amount of calcium in your blood and when there is enough to do that, the rest of the Calcidiol will go to the cells of tissues to make more Calcitriol(hormone) for fighting cancer and other diseases.

To make it work, we need the right amount of Calcidiol available in our blood. The blood test will give you and your health care provider a level to work with so you can start figuring out if you need to take vitamin D supplements. If you have Vitamin D Deficiency, it will take some time and several blood tests to determine how much you need, to get to and maintain the right level.

Visit Vitamin D Council for more information.

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