I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Vitamin D3. Or perhaps you’ve only heard of it as Vitamin D. Also called the sunshine vitamin, D3 is created by the body from the absorption of sunlight through the skin. In today’s sun-phobic society, where sun-screens and blocks halt the absorption of any rays, many Americans are deficient in D. This vitamin is vital in so many body processes. I surfed on over to WebMD to see what they had to say about vitamin D. According to the site, here are just a FEW of the benefits and uses in the body:
Vitamin D is used for preventing and treating rickets, a disease that is caused by not having enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is also used for treating weak bones (osteoporosis), bone pain (osteomalacia), bone loss in people with a condition called hyperparathyroidism, and an inherited disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) in which the bones are especially brittle and easily broken. It is also used for preventing falls and fractures in people at risk for osteoporosis, and preventing low calcium and bone loss (renal osteodystrophy) in people with kidney failure.
Vitamin D is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also used for diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness,multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and tooth and gum disease.
Important, right? But here’s the thing: Most Vitamin D Supplements on the market nowadays are just a plain ol’ form of Vitamin D, which is vitamin D2, produced by plants, etc. The form of D created by natural processes in the human body is D3, and so to utilize D2, it must be broken down into new substances and changed by the body into its useful form. Some of the substances D2 are broken down into, however, can be harmful to the body, so a D3 supplement is imperative.
Since D3 is produced in the body of humans, and of course other animals, D3 supplements have to come from animal sources. These can be tricky waters for vegetarians to navigate, especially in northern states like New England, where a D3 supplement is increasingly important during the winter months. Not to fear, though! There are vegetarian sources (not vegan, mind you) of D3. Lanolin, an oil found on the wool of sheep, is a rich source of D3. Coming from a reputable, kind company, a Lanolin based D3 supplement is a great option for vegetarians or animal lovers. A great whole foods, vegetarian company with just such an option is MegaFood, a NH based company that ROCKS! (More on them later!)
I hope you will look into a D3 supplement for this coming fall/winter season! The benefits of vitamin D are numerous, and will help protect you from the innumerable colds you are bound to run into!