Vitamin D Supplements refer to a variety of dietary supplements that include vitamin D and its “active” form, calcitriol. Vitamin D supplements are intended to promote the proper absorption and utilization of vitamin D in the body’s tissues.
Vitamin D is composed of two primary forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Both forms are synthesized by plants, fungi, or animals that can convert ultraviolet light into vitamin D or have historically been exposed to sunlight.
How to use Vitamin D supplements
When optimal nutrition and adequate vitamin D status are not met, the body may produce too much or too little of the vitamin. Vitamin D helps maintain normal levels of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. It is necessary for maintaining a healthy skeletal structure and for proper bone metabolism. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium absorption from the intestines as well as reduces dietary calcium loss in the urine.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in developed countries (1-9%) with prevalence estimated to be between 3–90%.
There is a wide variation in the reported prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among studies and also among populations. This may be due to mixed dietary and lifestyle behaviors that result in vitamin D insufficiency in certain age groups (1, 4, 5)
Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia (a softening of bones) in adults. In the most extreme cases, vitamin D deficiency can cause the bones to become soft, thin, and weak (osteomalacia).
1. Supports bone health. A lack of vitamin D may cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
2. Helps maintain immune system function. Vitamin D maintains calcium levels required for a healthy immune system and proper functioning of white blood cells. Vitamin D is also necessary for the development of T-cells, B-cells, platelets, and red blood cells that fight infection or help regulate the immune response to diseases or cancer treatment.
3. Supports muscle health during strength training. Vitamin D helps maintain muscle strength, which is critical when doing weight training. Vitamin D also plays an important role in maintaining muscle function and preventing the breakdown of muscle fibers.
4. Helps ensure a healthy cardiovascular system. Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels. It also supports the body’s natural maintenance of its vascular system by promoting endothelial cell proliferation, self-repair of blood vessels, and prevention of calcification (hardening) of arteries and veins.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in developed countries (1–9%) with prevalence estimated to be between 3 –90%. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia (a softening of bones) in adults. In the most extreme cases, vitamin D deficiency can cause the bones to become soft, thin, and weak (osteomalacia).