About Vitamin D
Some people wonder if Vitamin D is a vitamin at all. That’s because it’s a vitamin that the body manufactures naturally. Some people believe it’s simply another hormone or even a derivative of cholesterol. But for our purposes, Vitamin D is a vitamin.
Some of the things that Vitamin D does is help the intestines absorb calcium and synthesize enzymes in the mucous membranes that also help with calcium absorption. It also helps the body assimilate phosphorus, which is necessary to make bones. That’s why it’s vital that children get the right amount of Vitamin D, because without it the teeth and bones can’t grow properly. This will result in rickets. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D is about 200 International Units or about 5 micrograms. Vegetarians may need more Vitamin D. Most people can get their RDA by spending about 15 minutes a day in the sun.
As for grownups, Vitamin D is important in supporting the health of the nervous system and the heart. It also helps with blood clotting. All of these activities are related to the body being able to properly use calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is best taken with Vitamin A, and if a person wants to take them both at the same time, the best source is cod liver or fish liver oil. Other sources of Vitamin D are eggs, fatty fish and fortified milk, the kind that comes in cartons with the big, fat D on them.
The body uses bile to help absorb Vitamin D through the walls of the intestines. The Vitamin D that’s made in the skin is absorbed into the body’s circulatory system. The amount of melanin in a person’s skin also affects the absorption of Vitamin D. The more darker the skin, the less Vitamin D is produced. After Vitamin D is absorbed, it’s sent to the liver and stored there. Other reserves of Vitamin D can be found in the brain, the skin, the bones and the spleen.