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What is vitamin D3?

Eileen Ginsburg
Nursing
Vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol, is the form of vitamin D that the skin produces when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D3 is also found in supplements and food, as is vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Both forms of vitamin D are changed into another form, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-hydroxycholecalciferol), which is the type of vitamin D that is measured in blood tests.

Research suggests that higher blood levels of vitamin D may be linked to a lower risk of cancer. One study found that postmenopausal women who took calcium and vitamin D3 had lower risks of all cancers over a four-year period than women who took placebos (sugar pills containing no active ingredients).

Vitamin D3 can also be applied to the skin in a form known as calcipotriene. Calcipotriene can help control the speed of skin cell turnover in people who have psoriasis. Studies are ongoing to investigate the potential benefits and risks of vitamin D supplementation.
Vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol, is the form of vitamin D that the skin produces when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D3 is also found in supplements and food, as is vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Both forms of vitamin D are changed into another form, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-hydroxycholecalciferol), which is the type of vitamin D that is measured in blood tests.

Research suggests that higher blood levels of vitamin D may be linked to a lower risk of cancer. One study found that postmenopausal women who took calcium and vitamin D3 had lower risks of all cancers over a four-year period than women who took placebos (sugar pills containing no active ingredients).

Vitamin D3 can also be applied to the skin in a form known as calcipotriene. Calcipotriene can help control the speed of skin cell turnover in people who have psoriasis. Studies are ongoing to investigate the potential benefits and risks of vitamin D.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.