Vitamin D from the sun

Dr. Victor Dumaguing

INDEED yes, although thru an indirect process.

Calciferol is the technical or chemical name of vitamin D, a sterol concerned with calcium metabolism. Based on source, there are two types; Vit D2 or ergocalciferol is derived from sea foods especially shellfishes, and dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Vit D3 or cholecalciferol is derived by the activation of its inactive form in the skin of mammals. In animals, there is ergosterol which upon exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun is converted to Vit D2. The stratum granulosum of the epidermis of humans contain the inactive substance 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is converted by the solar rays to Vit D3.

Once D2 and D3 are absorbed inside the body, they go first to the liver for the process of hydroxylation- addition of a OH group- to form 25 hydroxycholesterol or calcidiol. Further down into the kidneys, another enzyme renal-1-alpha-hydroxylase will add another hydroxyl to form now dihydroxycholecalciferol or calcitriol w, hich is the most potent or strongest form of activated vitamin D. Simply put, Calcitriol will now facilitate and enhance the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the small intestines of humans. Then these calcium and Phosphates- from phosphorus- will be slowly deposited on the structural foundation of bones (osseous matrix), cartilages (chondroid matrix) and teeth (dentoid matrix) making them hard, and strong.

We all know that mothers bring their babies and infants outside early morning especially when the weather is fine, exactly for the purpose of giving their lil angels sunbath. Of course, their family doctor or pediatrician would advise that 7-8 in the morning with 30 minutes sun exposure would be enough to get its daily needs of vitamin D3.

Nutritionists as well as doctors insist that the child should be brought outside and not just beside a window with clear glass, arguing that the glass does not allow solar rays to convert the inactive form to Vit D3.

Rickets is the deficiency of vitamin D in infants and children while osteomalacia is Vit D deficiency in adults. Epidemiologist are quick to note that vitamin D deficiency is rare among people whose countries are straddling the equator and the Philippines is among the lucky ones to get all those sunshine.