How is vitamin D produced?


Vitamin D, often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. Unlike most vitamins, our bodies can actually produce vitamin D under specific conditions. However, for many people, achieving optimal levels through natural production alone can be challenging. As such, we wanted to explore how Vitamin D is produced, both by the body and in the form of supplementation.


The benefits of vitamin D

Vitamin D is more than just a feel-good nutrient. It plays a critical role in building strong, resilient bones. Vitamin D acts like a conductor, orchestrating the smooth absorption of calcium from our diet. This calcium is then deposited into our bones and teeth, keeping them dense and healthy. This becomes especially important as we age, as it helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weak and brittle bones.

Beyond bone health, vitamin D acts as a shield for our immune system. It helps regulate the production of immune cells, our body's frontline defence against infections and illnesses. Adequate vitamin D levels can enhance the body's ability to fight off viruses and bacteria, keeping us feeling our best.

But the benefits of vitamin D extend even further. Research suggests it may play a role in mood regulation. Studies have shown a correlation between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of depression. While the exact mechanisms are still being explored, vitamin D may help regulate brain chemicals like serotonin, which influence mood and well-being.

In essence, vitamin D is a multifaceted nutrient that contributes to a strong skeletal system, a robust immune defence, and potentially, a more positive outlook.


Vitamin D deficiency

When vitamin D levels dip below the recommended range, a cascade of health problems can arise. In children, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a condition that weakens and softens bones. This can cause bone deformities, such as bowed legs, and hinder proper growth and development.

Adults with vitamin D deficiency are at an increased risk of osteomalacia or soft bones, the adult equivalent of rickets. This condition weakens bones, making them more susceptible to fractures. Additionally, muscle weakness, fatigue, and increased susceptibility to autoimmune diseases are potential consequences of vitamin D deficiency.

By ensuring adequate vitamin D levels, we can safeguard ourselves from these potential health complications.


Where does vitamin D come from?

Our bodies can obtain vitamin D through two main sources:

1. Sun exposure: This is the primary natural way to produce vitamin D.

2. Supplementation: Vitamin D supplements can provide a safe and convenient way to increase intake.


How is vitamin D produced in the body?

  • The sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays trigger vitamin D production in the skin. Here's the breakdown:
  • UVB rays interact with a naturally occurring molecule in the skin called 7-dehydrocholesterol.
  • This interaction triggers a chemical reaction that converts 7-dehydrocholesterol into pre-vitamin D3.
  • Pre-vitamin D3 undergoes further transformation in the skin to become vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
  • Vitamin D3 produced in the skin is inactive and requires further processing for activation.
  • The liver converts vitamin D3 to 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), a storage form.
  • Finally, the kidneys convert 25(OH)D into the active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol).


How are vitamin D supplements made?

While sun exposure remains a natural way to boost vitamin D levels, supplementation often becomes necessary. But what about the Vitamin D in supplements? Here's a breakdown of how Vitamin D supplements are made:





A unique source of vitamin D3 comes from lichen, a symbiotic organism formed by a fungus and an alga. Exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light, lichen naturally produces vitamin D3. This plant-based source undergoes meticulous extraction and purification processes to ensure a safe and potent vegan supplement.



Another plant based source of vitamin D3 is derived from Pine Oil. It’s naturally found on mountainsides, rocks and trees in abundance and offers a renewable and sustainable source of vitamin D3 with no negative effects on the environment.





Lanolin, a waxy substance found in sheep's wool, is another source of vitamin D3. Lanolin naturally contains this beneficial vitamin, which is then separated and purified for use in supplements. This method has been the traditional way to obtain vitamin D3 for supplements.

While both plant and animal-derived sources provide vitamin D3, research suggests that vitamin D3 sourced from animal sources might have a slight edge in terms of bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to how readily the body absorbs and utilises a particular nutrient. Studies have shown that vitamin D3 from lanolin may be absorbed slightly more efficiently compared to its plant-based counterpart.

The extraction process involves various techniques depending on the source. Typically, it involves washing the raw material to remove impurities and then using solvents to extract the vitamin D. The extracted oil is then purified, concentrated, and standardised for consistent vitamin D content. Finally, the purified vitamin D is formulated into tablets, capsules, or liquid drops for easy consumption.


Vitamin D supplement forms

Vitamin D supplements come in various forms, each with its own advantages:


Vitamin D2 vs. D3:

Both D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) forms exist. Vitamin D3, produced in the body and found in animal-derived supplements, is generally considered more bioavailable, meaning the body absorbs it more efficiently.


Tablets or capsules vs. liquids:

Tablets or Capsules are the most common form of vitamin D supplements, offering a convenient and measured dose. Liquid forms might be suitable for those who have difficulty swallowing capsules.



Gummies are one of the most popular options for most people! Great tasting, easy to eat, and easy to dose, they’re a useful option for families and individuals alike.

Vitamin D production occurs naturally through sun exposure, or it can be obtained through man-made supplements. While sun exposure is a natural source, factors like skin pigmentation, location, and seasonality may limit its effectiveness.


Do I have enough vitamin D?

This is where our simple, at-home finger-prick test comes in. This easy-to-use cost effective kit allows you to collect a small blood sample in the comfort of your own home. The sample is then sent to a certified lab for analysis. Within a short timeframe, you'll receive your Vitamin D level results.

Knowing your Vitamin D status empowers you to take control of your health. Based on your results, you can develop a personalised plan. This might include dietary adjustments to incorporate more Vitamin D-rich foods, lifestyle changes like increased sun exposure (with appropriate precautions), or the incorporation of Vitamin D supplements.

So, now you know answers to questions like “How is Vitamin D produced?”, “Where does Vitamin D come from?”, and obtained insights into how Vitamin D supplements are made. Remember, by taking a proactive approach to understanding your Vitamin D levels, you can make informed decisions to support your health and well-being!

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