Vitamin D is the raw material for a hormone made by the kidney to regulate calcium, but other tissues have the capacity to make the vitamin D hormone and respond to it directly.
Vitamin D is the raw material for a hormone made by the kidney to regulate calcium, but other tissues have the capacity to make the vitamin D hormone and respond to it directly. Such local production and use of molecules is called paracrine activity. In some ways, vitamin D is like cholesterol. However, unlike cholesterol, which is always present, the amount of vitamin D available for hormone production is minute and arbitrary, mainly dependent upon ultraviolet-B exposure, and to a lesser degree upon our dietary intake.
There are several cancers whose prevalence increases as one heads north in latitude, these include breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Similarly, multiple sclerosis is more common in regions with less ultraviolet light. Average blood pressure in populations increase the father these populations are from the equator, and the percentage of adults in those populations diagnosed as having hypertension increase as well. It is likely that the progressive decline in the supply of vitamin D associated with northern latitude contributes to these diseases.
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Family history of ovarian and prostate cancer
- Living in northern climates
- Vitamin D is a factor in the normal development and maintenance of bones and teeth.
- Aids in the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus.
- Helps prevent vitamin D deficiency.