02 Mar 2022

What Is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient that helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies. The proportionate intake of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus is very necessary to build and keep well-strengthened bones. This biochemical compound is present in the following three forms in nature:

  • Ergocalciferol-D2: It has plant origin. 
  • Cholecalciferol-D3 (Most effective): It is produced in the skin of various animals when it is exposed to sunlight.
  • Alfacalcidol

This vitamin helps in preventing and treating various disorders of bones like rickets, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, familial hypophosphatemia, hypoparathyroidism, and pseudohypoparathyroidism. It is synthesised within our body when skin gets exposed to direct sunlight. 

These days our indoor/sedentary lifestyle, sunscreens, limited exposure to direct sunlight, age-related incapabilities, and dark skin tone hinders the sufficient synthesis of this essential vitamin in our body. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin D3?

Following are the incredible health benefits that the D3 form of this vitamin offers to us:

Helps in strengthening bones and muscles


Vitamin D along with calcium supports bone development. Low levels of this vitamin deplete your capability to absorb calcium from food. Consequently, the calcium from your bones is used by our body for carrying its functions, thereby causing:

  • Weakening of bones
  • Increased risk of fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomalacia
  • Familial hypophosphatemia
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism

More intake of D3 from our diet during initial years of growth and development helps in improving “peak bone density” which is the maximum density of bone tissue that is achieved during adulthood. Better bone density lowers our risk to develop diseases such as osteoporosis.


This vitamin helps in strengthening muscles greatly. Various studies suggest that the sufficiency of vitamin D increases helps in attaining the following: 

  • Lean bodies
  • Better muscle mass
  • Optimum muscle functioning

Boosts various immune responses

This biochemical compound helps in improving our immune responses, thereby enhancing our capability to fight various viruses or bacterial infections very effectively. One can fight the following infections very efficiently:

  • Acute respiratory infections
  • Pneumonia
  • COVID-19

Helps in regulating mood 

Various studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D may be the one of causes behind clinical depression. Inclusion of its supplementation in the regime for treatment of depression has been delivering very promising results.

Minimises inflammation

Vitamin D may help in treating various medical conditions exaggerated by inflammation. Low levels of this vitamin may increase our risk to following conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Atopy which a genetic disorder that increases the risk of an individual for developing allergies

Some studies indicate that supplementation of this vitamin during pregnancy lowers the risk of babies developing asthma.

Optimises heart function

Various researches suggest that deficiency of vitamin D may enhance your chances of following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Blood pressure
  • Sudden heart attacks

D3 may help in reducing the risk of heart failure to a great extent. It helps in improving heart functioning in individuals with weaker heart muscles.

Side-Effects Of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 in the normal dose range does not have any known side effects. However, if one faces certain unusual effects upon its supplementation, he/she must contact a doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Excess of this compound can result in harmfully high blood calcium levels. Following are the symptoms that can indicate raised vitamin D/calcium levels in your body: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Mental or mood fluctuations
  • Unusual tiredness and fatigue

However, very serious allergic effects are very rare with such supplementation even in high doses. But still one must go for immediate medical help if he/she notices any symptoms of  some serious allergic reaction, like: 

  • Rash
  • Breathlessness
  • Itching or abnormal swelling (especially in face/throat/tongue)
  • Severe dizziness

Vitamin D Interactions

Drug interactions may vary depending on how your medications act or enhance your risk of various serious side effects. Certain products that may interfere or interact with this vitamin supplement include: 

  • Burosumab
  • Phosphate binders

One must check the labels of every prescription as well as nonprescription/herbal formulations like antacids, vitamin preparations, or laxatives. This is because these products might be containing magnesium, calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D. This vitamin  is a very similar compound to calcitriol. One should not go for any medications containing calcitriol while taking D vitamin.

This medication may also interfere with reading appearing on certain laboratory tests reports (especially blood cholesterol tests). This may increase the chances of false test results.

How To Take Vitamin D3

One has to take oral preparations of vitamin D by mouth as per his/her physician’s directions. This vitamin is fat-soluble in nature, so it is absorbed in the best manner when taken with or after taking food or milk. However, it can be consumed with or without food or milk. Alfacalcidol form of vitamin D is usually taken with food. 

Dosage Recommendations Of Vitamin D3

The dosage of vitamin D3 largely depends on your age, health status, medical condition, amount of sun exposure you get every day, the kind of diet you take, and the response of your body to such treatment.

If someone is taking the liquid form of this vitamin, then he/she should carefully measure the dose with a special measuring device or graduated spoon. Avoid using household spoons so that you can take the correct dose. If you are consuming the chewable tablet or wafers, then chew the formulation thoroughly before swallowing it. 

As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommendations, the average daily intake of this vitamin should be 400–800 IU (10–20 micrograms). However, various studies suggest that the daily intake of this vitamin should be higher if you aren’t getting exposed to the optimum sunlight or have a darker tone of skin.

Some studies indicate that individuals who have deficiency of vitamin D may require more than 5,000 IU to attain this vitamin’s blood levels more than 30 ng/ml.

Summing Up

As per experts, sunshine is the best medium to meet the required vitamin levels in our body, but at the same time, it is also important to limit the sun exposure because of other valid reasons associated with health. During the winter season, or for ones living farther from the equator region, supplementation of vitamin D3 becomes very necessary. While looking for the most effective solutions in the nutrition stores, one must go for the natural dietary supplements for this vitamin and should choose only D3 preparations.