The most potent source of vitamin D is the sun, although to be more accurate, it is the action of the sun’s energy on melanin in human skin that actually produces vitamin D. Given our easy access to sunlight, it would seem that of all vitamins, this is one we should never need to introduce into our diets in supplement form. And yet this is not necessarily the case.
Vitamin D, or cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for maintaining strong, healthy teeth and bones — and for protecting against bone abnormalities such as rickets, bone-loss conditions such as osteoporosis, and skin problems such as psoriasis. It does this by helping to regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body.
Despite the ease of acquiring adequate levels of vitamin D through exposure to the sun, several factors can result in inadequate serum vitamin D levels in the average American. The elderly are predisposed to the effects of low vitamin D due to a predominantly indoor lifestyle, particularly those confined to nursing homes or places where illness precludes outdoor activities.
Similarly, nonwhite Americans are also at risk due to increased pigmentation, which effectively reduces the amount of vitamin D that can be produced in the skin. One study showed that over 40 percent of African-American women had a vitamin D deficiency compared to 4.2 percent of white American women. The increasing trend of indoor employment and leisure activities over the last few decades has also had a profound effect on the ambient vitamin D levels of all Americans.
Worldwide studies, including those conducted at Boston University, the University of Bonn in Germany, the University of Toronto, and the University of South Carolina, to name a few, have clearly outlined the case for increased vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to heart disease, autoimmune disorders, depression, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and other serious disorders.
In view of the lifestyle changes due to workplace and leisure practices, together with an aging population, vitamin D supplementation now forms an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Those suffering from elevated serum calcium levels or hyperparathyroidism should not take vitamin D without consulting a physician.
Suggested Use:As a dietary supplement, adults take one (1) softgel capsule daily, or as directed by a health care professional.
Store in a cool, dry place and away from direct light