Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Theme XIII: Vitamins

Vitamin D

Vitamin D. Description, chemical formula, role and characteristics.

There are two Vitamins D: vitamin D2 (calciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). The chemical formula of vitamin D is:

         Vitamin D2 structure

        Vitamin D3 structure

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These vitamins are necessary for the proper bone formation and absorption of calcium and phosphorus. They also protect the teeth and bones from the effects of low calcium intake.

They are called solar vitamins because they are moved to the skin when sunlight is received, that is why its deficiency is very rare in tropical countries and has appeared occasionally in children from cities with little sun, producing rickets, since it difficult the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

The Total Vitamin D is necessary for proper child growth, it has effects on osteoblastic cells which influences in cartilage calcification and areas of bone growth.

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