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Vitamin D


Vitamin D or cholecalciferol is a fat-soluble vitamin important for bones and skin.


Vitamin D is synthesised in the body by the action of sunlight. It is important for the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Therefore essential for healthy teeth and bones. 

Deficiency Symptoms

Deficiencies are now relatively rare, but occur in some religious groups. Severe deficiency leads to rickets which is manifest with bow legs, also osteomalacia, pains in the bones and muscular weakness. Deficiencies are implicated in osteoporosis.

At a Glance...

Vitamin D the 'sunshine' vitamin required for the proper use of calcium.

Functions Dosage Toxicity Further Information What you need to eat
Vitamin D is important for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. It is necessary for bone formation, particularly in children. It also functions in the prevention of certain cancers.
The RDA is between 5-10 mcg (200-400 IU). This will be produced by about 10 minutes in bright sunshine.
Toxicity is dangerous, producing nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, headaches and depression. Severe toxicity leads to heart, liver or kidney damage.
Vitamin D boosts the immune system and may play a role to prevent cancers, such as myeloid leukemia.
Dietary sources include animal products such as oily fish and dairy products. Milk, breakfast cereals and infant formulae are fortified with the vitamin.

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