What is vitamin D3?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it requires fat to be broken down and utilised. Fat-soluble vitamins can also be stored in the fat cells for later use.
Vitamin D is synthesised by the skin following sun exposure and is then converted by the liver and kidneys into ‘active vitamin D’ or calcitriol.1
There are two types of vitamin D - vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) - found in plants such as mushrooms, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) - through sun exposure to skin, along with animal sources such as fatty fish.1
Why is vitamin D3 so important?
Vitamin D has a wide range of important functions within the human body. Most notably, vitamin D supports calcium absorption which helps to maintain healthy teeth and bones. Getting enough vitamin D alongside calcium, exercise and a healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.2
When it comes to immune function, vitamin D is essential. Vitamin D supports the production of pathogen-fighting immune cells, while also reducing the risk of damage by inflammation-causing white blood cells.3
Our vitamin D3 is produced from a 100% non-GMO algae source. It is a completely plant-sourced vitamin D3 which has significantly greater bioavailability than vitamin D2.4
With a range of factors influencing individual vitamin D levels, it’s important to look to optimal levels, rather than adequate intake (AI). Consider your intake of vitamin D through food sources, as well as sun exposure through the seasons when deciding if a supplement is right for you.
Adults 19-50 years - 5 micrograms
Adults 51-70 years - 10 micrograms
Adults 70+ years - 15 micrograms
Pregnancy & lactation - 5 micrograms.
Why do you need to supplement vitamin D3?
Despite the main source of vitamin D - sunlight - being free and accessible to almost everyone, more than half of the world’s population has insufficient levels. It’s also estimated that roughly 1 billion people across the globe have a clinical vitamin D deficiency.5,6
Why is low vitamin D so prevalent? Lifestyle (i.e. more time spent indoors) and environment (air pollution) have resulted in a significant drop in sun exposure.5,6 Dietary intake of vitamin D also tends to be low across the board and can be influenced by a number of other factors - not just whether or not you eat animal products, but how much time you spend outdoors, if you wear sunscreen, even weight can have an impact on vitamin D levels.
Interesting facts about vitamin D3
- In Australia, vitamin D levels have been shown to sharply decline during the winter months. At the end of the winter, 36% of Australians were vitamin D deficient, compared to just 14% at the end of the summer.7
- Darker skin pigment makes it more difficult for the body to synthesise vitamin D via sunlight exposure.8
- As well as being a vitamin, D3 is also considered a hormone that plays many important roles in the body, including in the endocrine (hormonal) system.9
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Vitamin D. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-d
- Jin, J. (2018). Vitamin D and calcium supplements for preventing fractures. JAMA, 319(15):1630.
- Cannell, J.J., Vieth, R., Umhai, J.C., Holick, M.F., Grant, W.B., et al. (2006). Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiology & Infection, 134(6):1129-40.
- Vitamin D3V®. 100% Vegan Vitamin D3. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.vitamind3v.com/
- Nair, R. & Maseeh, A. (2012). Vitamin D: The ‘sunshine’ vitamin. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 3(2):118–26.
- Al-Daghri, N. M., Al-Attas, O., Yakout, S., Aljohani, N., Al-Fawaz, H. & Alokail, M. S. (2015). Dietary products consumption in relation to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and selenium level in Saudi children and adults. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, 8(1): 1305.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Nutrients. Written December 2013, accessed July 2022 from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-biomedical-results-nutrients/latest-release
- Skin Health Institute. Your skin, vitamin D and the sun. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.skinhealthinstitute.org.au/page/79/your-skin-vitamin-d-and-the-sun
- Your Hormones. Vitamin D. Reviewed February 2018, accessed July 2022 from https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/vitamin-d/