vitamin d, hormone, vitamin“By definition, vitamin D is a hormone,” Michael Holick, MD, PhD, of Boston University, told MedPage Today. “The body synthesizes it after sun exposure, and it’s activated by the liver and kidneys. That activated form again acts like a hormone to regulate calcium metabolism.”

Vitamin D goes through an activation process unlike any other vitamin.

After exposure to UVB radiation, the skin must go through a complicated process the incorporate the D3 elements. That D3 element is then absorbed into your liver, which then proceeds into your kidney.

“D3 is the prohormone, 25(OH)D is the major circulating form, and 1,25(OH)2D is the hormonally active form,” Michael Holick, MD, PhD

Vitamins A and C do not get activated the same way vitamin D must. After much research, experts are now realizing that vitamin D is now classified as a hormone as opposed to a nutrient and are debating why we are using it to preserve food said Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, a food policy expert from New York University.

Even Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH has begun her inquisition on the effects of vitamin D on the local food preservative initiative, as recently quoted to the FDA. “Vitamin D fortification must be understood as a form of hormone replacement therapy. As such, it raises questions about efficacy, dose, and side effects that should be asked about all such therapies.”

The representative Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH further states that vitamin D is extremely rare in foods as opposed to fish in very small quantities. “It is present in most foods as a result of fortification,” she said.

Michael Holick, MD, PhD agrees with his esteemed colleague assuring that because of the recent findings and facts of vitamin D’s status as a hormone and not a vitamin, this new discovery could help in the progression of hormone replacement therapy. “It’s reasonable to have on the label, because everyone should be taking steps to increase their vitamin D intake.”