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Benefits of Vitamin D1

Tags: Vitamin D, Articles

First identified in the early twentieth century, vitamin D is an essential component of a healthy body. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so it can be stored in the body for a long time. There are two forms of Vitamin D; Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is plant based and can be found in food and supplements. Vitamin D3 can be made in human skin upon exposure to sunlight but many factors affect how much you can make. Vitamin D3 can also be consumed via foods and most supplements sold in Australia are Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D3 must be converted to its active form before it can be utilised by the body. Vitamin D3 is considered inactive until it undergoes two main reactions following its acquisition from sunlight or when consumed from a food or supplement source.

The benefits of vitamin D3

Vitamin D presents a challenge as it is only found in certain foods. During warmer months it can be relatively easy to get adequate sunlight. However, modern lifestyles and working in the office can make it more difficult to get adequate levels of vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D supplementation can be used by individuals who have limited exposure to the sun and / or want to fill nutritional gaps.


1. Working group of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, Endocrine Society of Australia and Osteoporosis Australia (2005). Vitamin D and adult bone health in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. Med J Aust 2005;18:281-5.