Vitamin D is most widely known as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies are able to make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight for a period of time. Vitamin D has received a lot of press in recent days, and is probably most well known for the role it plays in bone health. While vitamin D does play a crucial role in bone health, vitamin D also plays an important role in cardiovascular health, immune health, and overall general health.
Vitamin D is converted in the body to the active 1,25(OH)2 form. This conversion is regulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH) and low levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is available in two different forms, D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is the preferable form as it has been found to modulate 25(OH)D levels for a longer period of time when compared to vitamin D2.
Recent studies have shown a trend toward increased deficiency of vitamin D in the body, underscoring the need for supplementation, especially for the elderly, as well as for those who get less exposure to sunlight.
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