Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is one form of vitamin D that is usable by the human body, found in fish, eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil and other fortified foods. The skin can synthesize vitamin D3 when exposed to ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Vitamin D3 has been linked to blood pressure, bone health, autoimmune disease, and inflammation. Vitamin D3 can be measured in the blood, and to restore proper levels of this vitamin, higher doses than the recommended daily allowances might be prescribed.
Vitamin D3 has been known to improve the strength of bones. It helps many people avoid osteoporosis, or weak bones, and is recommended in significant quantities if bones are fragile. This is most common among women, especially post-menopausal women, and longtime corticosteroid users. Proper levels of vitamin D3 are recommended throughout life to build and maintain skeletal strength.
The immune system is affected by the level of vitamin D3 in the human body. Low levels of vitamin D3 have been linked to autoimmune diseases. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that has an increased occurrence in people who live farther from the equator. Those studying this believe it has to do with the exposure to ultraviolet B rays from the sun, which are more easily accessible as you get closer to the equator. Having adequate amounts of vitamin D3 in the body can improve immune function.
Colon, prostate and breast cancer have been linked to low levels of vitamin D3. When levels are high enough, the body seems more capable of fighting the cell changes that create cancerous tumors. However, an increased risk of pancreatic cancer might be possible with high levels of vitamin D3.
High blood pressure might be lowered with proper levels of serum blood vitamin D3. Type 1 and 2 diabetes might also be helped with vitamin D3 supplementation, as well as general glucose intolerance.
Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin and if taken in high doses for a long period of time can be toxic. Be sure to discuss with your physician if you believe your serum vitamin D3 levels are low, or you're taking larger-than-recommended doses of the vitamin.