Vitamin D 

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Vitamin D or calciferol is a fat soluble vitamin (soluble in fats: lipids). It is a hormone found in food and synthesized in the upper layers of the epidermis of the human body from a derivative of cholesterol under the action of UVB 1 radiation from the Sun. Theoretically, exposure to the sun can cover 80 to 90% of the necessary vitamin D intake and diet, the remaining 10 to 20%.

In humans it exists in two forms: D2 ( ergocalciferol ) produced by plants or D3 ( cholecalciferol ) of animal origin.

  • Vitamin D2 , or ergocalciferol , is synthesized by plants and fungi.
  • Vitamin D3 , or cholecalciferol , is produced primarily by animals. It is in this form that we produce vitamin D in the dermis of our skin under the action of UVB rays from the sun. Vitamin D3 then undergoes changes in the liver and kidney to become active, and is then stored in muscles, liver and fat (adipose tissue).

Vitamin D is the anti-rickety vitamin par excellence. It is essential for bone growth and participates in the correct functioning of our immune defenses.

Vitamin D could have a protective role against severe forms of Covid-19, a new infectious disease linked to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. As such, it can be taken as a preventive treatment. According to the National Academy of Medicine: vitamin D "plays a role in the regulation and suppression of the inflammatory cytokine response at the origin of the acute respiratory distress syndrome which characterizes the severe and often lethal forms of Covid-19". (source: press release ).

In addition, a recent French scientific study (1) demonstrated that the majority of the French population needed vitamin D supplementation. Changes in eating habits for several decades are responsible for this finding: modern food n 'provides more than enough vitamin D to meet the needs of our body.

(1) According to the results of the INCA 2 study (National Individual Study of Food Consumption 2-2006-2007). ANSES, 2015 (Referral n ° 2012-SA-0142).

How does vitamin D work in the body?

  • Fixation of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in bones and teeth
  • Promotes insulin secretion
  • Promotes the assimilation of calcium
  • Prevents or decreases cardiovascular disease, cramps, bone rickets and osteoporosis
  • Mineralization and repair of bone tissue and joints
  • Reduction of autoimmune diseases

Its deficiency is observed in some young children, but also in elderly subjects who are no longer exposed to the sun.

It can cause :

  • Osteomalacia with frequent fractures of the neck of the femur
  • Rickets

Hypervitaminosis can cause :

  • Hypercalcemia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Polyuria
  • Polydipsia
  • Nervousness

It is mainly found in the following food sources :

  • Butter
  • Fish oils
  • The mushrooms
  • The cereals

When to take vitamin D3?

Vitamin D specialists do not recommend a specific intake time. In contrast, a 2014 study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics * found that supplementing vitamin D3 with a meal can help absorption of this vitamin. This study shows that the absorption of vitamin D is greater when the food supplement is taken with a meal containing fatty acids (preferably of vegetable origin).

“Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it dissolves in a fatty substance. The absorption process is similar to that of dietary fat. In fact, the digestion of a fatty substance stimulates the secretion of bile by promoting the formation of micelles, small structures which transport this fat and vitamin D3 to the intestinal absorption surface promoting their assimilation, ”says Dr. Bess Dawson-Hughes, Scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USA), author of this study.

It is therefore strongly recommended to take vitamin D during a meal in order to facilitate the absorption of this vitamin.

* Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Published online ahead of print, doi: “Dietary Fat Increases Vitamin D-3 Absorption” Authors: B. Dawson-Hughes, SS Harris, AH Lichtenstein, G. Dolnikowski, NJ Palermo, H. Rasmussen.

What is Vitamin D

Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning it dissolves in fat. It exists in two forms:

  • Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, is synthesized by plants and fungi.
  • Vitamin D3 , or cholecalciferol, is produced by animals. It is in this form that we produce vitamin D in the dermis of our skin under the action of UVB rays from the sun. It is recommended to expose yourself to the sun's rays every day for 30 minutes. Vitamin D3 then undergoes transformations in the liver and kidney to become active, then it is stored in muscles, liver and fat.

Vitamin D3: what is it used for?

Vitamin D3 plays an important role in calcification by allowing good absorption of calcium from the intestinal mucosa, and by increasing the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. It promotes the fixation of calcium on the bones, and contributes to the good mineralization of the skeleton, joints and teeth.

Nerve transmission and muscle contraction also depend on calcium and therefore vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 is also an ally of our immune system . In winter, the body's stores of vitamin D3 decrease with sunlight.

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