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What Is Vitamin D?

The Sunshine Vitamin

capsules of vitamins on a flat surfaceVitamin D is often called “the sunshine vitamin” because the best way for your body to absorb it is through direct exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is present in small amounts in certain foods, such as milk and fish, but approximately 90-95% of most people’s vitamin D comes from casual sunlight exposure.

When UVB rays from the sun hit your skin, a naturally occurring substance in the skin is converted into usable vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is then metabolized in your liver and kidneys, where it is converted into a hormone called calcitriol, which plays an important role in your body’s ability to absorb calcium properly.

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Research indicates that vitamin D is important for your bones and skeletal structure, immune function, blood pressure, mood, brain function and overall health. It even helps fight infections by binding to certain cells in your immune system, helping those cells kill viruses.

The Importance of Supplements

Since many people spend their days indoors and use sunscreen whenever they are outside, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. Eating certain foods can help:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Fish
  • Pasteurized eggs
  • Beef liver
  • Milk

But even these foods don’t provide enough vitamin D on their own. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement made from animal sources is the closest to what we produce naturally from sunlight and the most usable by our bodies.

We’ll be happy to help you find the right vitamin D3 supplement for you. Ask us at your next appointment.

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