Vitamin D, often known as the “sunshine” vitamin, is made out of cholesterol when the skin is exposed to the sun.
This vitamin is absolutely crucial for optimal health.
Here is everything you need to know about this vitamin.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D dissolves in oil/fat and can be kept in your body for a long time.
There are 2 forms:
– Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) – you can find it in some mushrooms
– Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – you can find it in some animal foods, such as egg yolks and fatty fish. This vitamin is much more effective.
What does vitamin D do in the body?
At first, it is useless. Then the vitamin needs to go through 2 conversion steps so that it can become “active”.
First, it is turned into calcidiol, in the liver. And it is the storage form.
Second, it is turned into calcitriol, in the kidneys. And it is the active steroid form.
The calcitriol binds to this vitamin receptor inside cells, and turns the genes on/off.
Now scientists have found that it is involved in some sorts of processes, such as protection against cancer and immune function.
The best way to get vitamin D
Sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D, but what blocks the production of it, is sunscreen. Whether you decide to get vitamin D from the sun, make sure that you do not burn.
Few foods contain vitamin D in significant amounts
Vitamin D3 content of few foods:
– Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon. Amount – 1360 IU/ 34 mcg. Daily value – 227%.
– Salmon, cooked, 3 ounces (85g). Amount – 447 IU/ 11 mcg. Daily value – 75%.
– Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces (85g). Amount – 154 IU/ 4 mcg. Daily value – 26%.
– Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces (85g). Amount – 42 IU/ 1 mcg. Daily value – 7%.
– 1 large whole egg (vitamin D is found in the yolk). Amount – 41 IU/ 1 mcg. Daily value – 7%.
– 1 sardine, canned in oil, drained. Amount – 23 IU/ 0.6 mcg. Daily value – 4%.
Some decent sources are fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna, swordfish and sardines. Also, a small amount of vitamin D can be found in some mushrooms.