Researchers discover a new gear in life's clock: Vitamin D

New research from Portland State University finds vitamin D, or a lack thereof can trigger or suspend embryonic development in a species of fish. The study also provides evidence suggesting the vitamin is critical to the ...

More than skin deep, tanning product of sun's rays

People who remain pale and never tan can blame their distant ancestors for choosing to live in the northern reaches of the globe and those who easily achieve a deep tan can thank their ancestors for living in the subtropical ...

Vitamin D supplements could fight Crohn's disease

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study has found that Vitamin D, readily available in supplements or cod liver oil, can counter the effects of Crohn's disease. John White, an endocrinologist at the Research Institute of the McGill ...

Study: Lizards bask for more than warmth

Keeping warm isn't the only reason lizards and other cold-blooded critters bask in the sun. According to a study published in the May/June issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, chameleons alter their sunbathing ...

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble prohormones, the two major forms of which are vitamin D2 (or ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (or cholecalciferol). The term vitamin D also refers to metabolites and other analogues of these substances. Vitamin D3 is produced in skin exposed to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B radiation.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the maintenance of organ systems.

Vitamin D deficiency can result from inadequate intake coupled with inadequate sunlight exposure; disorders that limit its absorption; conditions that impair conversion of vitamin D into active metabolites, such as liver or kidney disorders; or, rarely, by a number of hereditary disorders. Deficiency results in impaired bone mineralization and leads to bone softening diseases rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, and possibly contributes to osteoporosis. However, sunlight exposure, to avoid deficiency, carries other risks, including skin cancer; this risk is avoided with dietary absorption, either through diet or as a dietary supplement.

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