Vitamin D is most commonly associated with assisting the maintenance of strong bones and teeth, supporting the functions of the immune system and contributing toward normal muscle functions. Vitamin D3 is the most bioavailable form of this vitamin.
Vitamin D also contributes to the normal absorption/utilisation of calcium and phosphorus as well as contributing to normal blood calcium levels. It is needed for normal growth and development of bone in children and has a role in the process of cell division.
Those at particular risk of Vitamin D deficiency are children (under 5 years), the elderly (65 years+), pregnant women and those that rarely get outdoors (lack of sunshine). Insufficient vitamin D is now known to be a factor in the aetiology of many disease conditions, where adequate levels of intake are found to be protective.
Vitamin D is frequently referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ as sunlight is necessary for the synthesis of this vitamin (which is produced underneath the skin following exposure to sunlight)