What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble prohormone that is both a nutrient in some foods, as well as a hormone that our body makes.1 Being fat soluble, Vitamin D in the food we eat is absorbed best alongside fats. Prohormone means that our body has to convert it into its active form, which happens in our liver and kidneys.2,3

Functions of Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in our health – not only does it help our gut absorb calcium for strong bones, our muscles also require it to move! Vitamin D is important for a healthy heart and blood vessels, and our immune system needs it to protect us against infections.4

Types of Vitamin D

There are two main forms of Vitamin D: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).3

Vitamin D2 is the form found in mushrooms and fortified food products, such as milk and cereal4, while Vitamin D3 is found in animal-based foods. The latter is more easily absorbed than Vitamin D2, and has been shown to be more effective at boosting Vitamin D in the body to prevent or treat low Vitamin D levels.2,4

How to Get Vitamin D?

Although some Vitamin D comes from foods we eat, we mainly make it ourselves: our skin produces Vitamin D3 when we absorb UVB rays from the sun. Now you know why Vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin”!2,3

1) Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source: Vitamin D. Available at: Accessed 20 Aug 2021.
2) Fookes C. Vitamin D. Available at: Accessed 30 June 2021.
3) Nair R, Maseeh A. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2012;3:118-126.
4) National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Consumers. Available at: Accessed 30 June 2021.


Swipe For More >>>