More Vitamin D2 Information
What is vitamin D?
Early in the 20th century scientists discovered that rickets, a childhood disease characterized by improper bone development, could be prevented by a compound isolated from cod liver oil, referred to as "fat- soluble factor D," now known as vitamin D. The vitamin was also called "calciferol," since it was found to boost calcium deposits in bone. Because vitamin D is so important in skeletal growth and strong bones, many foods are fortified with this vitamin to ensure that children obtain adequate amounts.
There are two basic types of vitamin D. Ergosterol is the basic building block of vitamin D in plants. Cholesterol is the basic building block of vitamin D in humans. When ultraviolet light from the sun hits the leaf of a plant, ergosterol is converted into ergocalciferol, or vitamin D2. Ergosterol is a component of fungal cell membranes, serving the same function that cholesterol serves in animal cells. Ergocalciferol is sometimes considered a vegan source of vitamin D, since it can be plant-derived. Yeast is also commonly used as a source of D2, as are other fungi (like ergot).
Common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency will cause a decrease in calcium and phosphorous absorption. As a result, prolonged vitamin D deficiency has a negative impact on bone mineralization. In infants and children, such a deficiency manifests itself as rickets, a condition characterized by bone deformities and growth retardation. Adults with vitamin D deficiency may experience bone pain and/or osteomalacia (soft bone).
It is particularly important for individuals with limited sun exposure to include good sources of vitamin D in their diets. Homebound individuals, people living in northern latitudes, individuals who wear clothing that completely covers the body, and individuals working in occupations that prevent exposure to sunlight are at risk for vitamin D deficiency.
Symptoms that can indicate a need for supplemental vitamin D
- Bone pain and/or soft bones
- Frequent bone fractures
- Bone deformities or growth retardation in children
- Lack of exposure to sunlight for any reason, including geography,
use of sunscreen, or wearing of protective clothingPure Vegan Vitamin D2 spray continued
Maintaining immune function and preventing excessive inflammation
Vitamin D also helps regulate immune system activity, preventing an excessive or prolonged inflammatory response. Our immune cells, specifically our active T-cells, have receptors for vitamin D. This is important because autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel diseases (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) all have a T-cell component of inflammation.
For example, in multiple sclerosis, T helper cells drive the progression of the disease by recruiting other inflammatory immune cells (macrophages and inflammatory cytokines), particularly when vitamin D is deficient. When vitamin D levels are adequate, the body switches on a vitamin-D mediated system that can help shut down the inflammation.
The production of vitamin D precursors in the skin decreases with age, and the kidney is less able to convert vitamin D to its active hormone form.
View Suggested Use and Supplement Facts for D2
For more recommendation on D2 for vegans, visit VeganHealth.org
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