Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is a unique nutrient which is essential for a number of bodily functions. Commonly referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, its active form called calcitriol behaves like a hormone in the body. Calcitriol facilitates calcium absorption in the intestines, maintains normal blood calcium levels and neuromuscular function. It is also called a “steroid vitamin” because it increases the metabolism and absorption of calcium and phosphorus which are two minerals essential to normal bone formation – throughout childhood the body uses these minerals to produce bones and teeth.
Receptors for this important hormone are found in virtually every type of cell and tissue in the body where the nutrient provides an essential key to accurate DNA and cellular replication. Research shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in the health of the immune system due to its ability to regulate anti-bactericidal proteins and stimulating the production of potent anti-microbial peptides. Since human skin cells are able to manufacture vitamin D using certain wavelengths of UVB light, sunlight will always remain the greatest source of this essential vitamin, however, during the winter or for people living in low sunlight areas, much of our vitamin D must be obtained from food or supplements alone.