Why Is Vitamin D So Vital to the Human Body?

Medically Reviewed on 5/5/2022
Why Is Vitamin D So Vital to the Human Body
Vitamin D is vital to the body because it plays major roles in bone health and immune function. Learn why you need vitamin D and how to make sure you’re getting enough

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body needs to maintain healthy bones, regulate inflammation, and promote immune function:

  • Promotes calcium absorption for bone health
  • Promotes optimal muscle function
  • Supports brain and nervous system health
  • Supports heart and lung functions
  • Regulates insulin levels
  • Improves mood

Vitamin D deficiency can result in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile bones in adults (osteomalacia).

How do you obtain vitamin D?

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be produced and stored in the body for future use. It can be obtained from:

What are different forms of vitamin D?

The two main forms of vitamin D are:

  • Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2): Obtained from plants and fungi, often used as a food additive
  • Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3): Found in animals and humans, formed by the skin upon exposure to sunlight via the compound 7-dehydrocholesterol

What are good food sources of vitamin D?

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are excellent sources of vitamin D.
  • Beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese have variable amounts of vitamin D, primarily in the form of vitamin D3.
  • Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, oatmeal, orange juice, soy milk, almond milk, cow’s milk, and nuts provide a source of vitamin D.
  • Mushrooms contain a small amount of vitamin D2. Some mushrooms have been treated with ultraviolet light to increase vitamin D2 levels.

How much vitamin D do you need?

The amount of vitamin D you need on a daily basis depends on factors such as age and overall health. If you are pregnant or have other underlying vitamin deficiencies, your vitamin D needs may be different. General guidelines are as follows:

  • Most children and teens need about 600 IU per day
  • Individuals over age 70 may need about 800 IU per day

Excessive vitamin D intake can be harmful and cause side effects such as:

If you think you may have a vitamin D deficiency, consult your doctor.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 5/5/2022
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