Skip to content

Nutrition: Vitamin D—Hormone or Vitamin?

I am sure that, like me, most of you have taken some form of Vitamin D in the past as a dietary supplement and you, like me, considered it a vitamin.  I took vitamin D for many years to enhance my lack of sunshine and dietary deficiencies. On one visits to my primary doctor made me take a another look at vitamin D.  My doctor said that I had too much vitamin D in my system and she told me to stop taking vitamin D. “What?”  Who knew that you could take too much Vitamin D? This was very perplexing because I had always been told that I needed extra vitamin D as a person of color.  So, as with other issues, I began researching vitamin D.  I found out the truth about the “so-called”  vitamin called vitamin D. It is not a vitamin!  Yep, you heard me! It is not a vitamin!

Vitamin D is a hormone, a prohormone, actually.  The body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. True vitamins (the others–A, B, etc.) are produced outside of the body and taken into the body through foods. Vitamin D is a hormone that is produced by the skin in response to sunlight.  The body cannot get sufficient vitamin D from the diet alone; thus, only about ten percent of vitamin D is made through a response to the diet.

After production, the kidneys and liver convert vitamin D into the active hormone called calcitriol. This active vitamin D regulates and increases the calcium and phosphorus that the gut can absorb into the bloodstream. This helps in the formation of bone structure and bone strength.  Vitamin D prevents calcium loss from the kidneys and modifies the bone cells and aids in bone structure.  Vitamin D also aids in the health of the immune system, cardiovascular functions, the respiratory system, muscle function, brain development.  It is also an anti-cancer aid.  If you like, check out some vitamin D research at the websites below.

Vitamin D comes in several forms: D2 and D3.  They are fat-soluble, i.e., they can be stored in the body over a period of time. Therefore, it is not wise to take vitamin D in excess because that can cause toxicity and damage body organs, a condition called hypercalcaemia.  Hypercalcaemia may cause fatigue, nausea, constipation, depression, vomiting, headaches, muscle weakness and thirst.

A deficiency in vitamin D can cause a number of problems.  Those issues can range from rickets in children to osteomalacia in adults. A lack of vitamin D may cause one to be prone to infections, muscle weakness, fatigue, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Older people are more at risk for vitamin D deficiency; they are less likely to spend time in the sunlight. They, therefore, may need supplements more often.  People of color may also be at risk and lack sufficient vitamin D.

Now, I have not completely eliminated vitamin D from my supplements; I will always need a vitamin D supplement.  I just take it with caution.  Also, a note: there are other supplements that contain amounts of vitamin D3 in them.  Make sure that you read the labels.

Be the Best You that You Can Be and Stay Healthy!


vitamin D2–ergocalciferol

vitamin D3– cholecalciferol


Published inLiving a Healthy Life


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.