What Is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3 is the best-known representative of the vitamins in the D group. It is therefore known to many simply as vitamin D. Strictly speaking, however, there are four other vitamins in the D group. PraxisVITA explains why vitamin D3 has a special status among vitamins and what makes it so important for our body.

What is vitamin D3?

The colloquial term vitamin D is just another simplification of the term vitamin D3. It gets even more complicated in technical terms because its real name is cholecalciferol. However, this term came into being much later. Vitamin D got its name from the chemist Elmer Verner McCollum in 1919. As the fourth vitamin found, it was given the D as its identifier. Vitamin D3 is only found in cells with a nucleus. Some bacteria, plants, and fungi do not need vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is an important transporter for all kinds of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

What makes vitamin D3 so special?

Most people know that if you are vitamin D deficient, you should go out in the sun. But why is that? How can a vitamin enter the body through the sun’s rays? Here we come to the special nature of vitamin D3 and its unique position in the vitamin system because vitamin D3 can be produced by our skin itself (the term “vitamin” actually excludes the body from producing it). However, UV-B radiation is essential for this, which is why many people with vitamin D deficiency are advised to go out in the sun.

How else can vitamin D3 be absorbed?

Our body needs around 20 micrograms (µg) of vitamin D3 every day. 90 percent of this can be produced by our skin itself via solar radiation. So where is the remaining 10 percent supposed to come from? Quite simply: through food. Many types of fish are rich in vitamin D, such as herring or salmon. The morning breakfast egg is also a good source of vitamin D. Other foods high in vitamin D include:

  • cheese and butter
  • Mushrooms
  • avocados
  • liver

You can now buy vitamin D3 in pharmacies and drugstores as a dietary supplement. However, if you go out regularly and have a varied breakfast, this is not necessary.

How can a vitamin D3 deficiency develop?

We all know that in northern Germany, for example, the sun is rarely seen. So what can you do when the sun doesn’t shine? On the one hand, our body also has a store for vitamin D3. So if you don’t get daylight for a day, the world won’t collapse right away. People who are often in darkened rooms or who move around covered up outside on sunny days should be careful. Older people also suffer more quickly from a vitamin D3 deficiency because their skin can no longer absorb the sun’s rays as well.

How does a vitamin D3 deficiency become noticeable?

A vitamin D3 deficiency can have serious consequences for the bones. Adults then suffer from osteomalacia (softening of the bones). Typical symptoms are muscle weakness and bone pain. The risk of osteoporosis also increases. For children, a vitamin D3 deficiency can be even more dangerous. They are at risk of rickets. A disease in which the children’s bones are not supplied with enough minerals and are deformed as a result. This can even affect the child’s skull in severe cases.

Is there an overdose of vitamin D3?

An overdose of vitamin D3 is virtually impossible when consumed naturally. Our body can store a lot of vitamin D3. However, an overdose by taking dietary supplements is conceivable. The consequences of a long-lasting overdose of vitamin D3 can be kidney stones and kidney calcification. In general, it is advised that adults should not consume more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D3 per day (i.e. almost five times the daily requirement). Children should not consume more than 50 micrograms per day.

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Written by Dave Parker

I am a food photographer and recipe writer with more than 5 years of experience. As a home cook, I have published three cookbooks and had many collaborations with international and domestic brands. Thanks to my experience in cooking, writing and photographing unique recipes for my blog you will get great recipes for lifestyle magazines, blogs, and cookbooks. I have extensive knowledge of cooking savory and sweet recipes that will tickle your taste buds and will please even the pickiest crowd.

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