Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin,a group of fat-soluble prohormones, which encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
Five forms of vitamin D have been discovered, vitamin D1, D2, D3, D4, D5. The two forms that seem to matter to humans the most are vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).Vitamin D for humans is obtained from sun exposure, food and supplements. It is biologically inert and has to undergo two hydroxylation reactions to become active in the body. The active form of vitamin D in the body is called Calcitriol .
Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones. It is an immune system regulator.It may be an important way to arm the immune system against disorders like the common cold. It may reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is much less common the nearer you get to the tropics,where there is much more sunlight.Vitamin D may have a key role in helping the brain to keep working well in later life.Vitamin D is probably linked to maintaining a healthy body weight.It has been shown to reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women. High vitamin D doses can help people recover from tuberculosis more rapidly.
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