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Vitamin D > for food and dietary supplements

Physiological importance

Vitamin D is also known as the anti-rickets vitamin. In addition to the hormones calcitonin and parathyroid hormone, it is required for the calcium homeostasis regulation as well as the phosphate metabolism. Its active form is the Vitamin D hormone calcitriol. Calcitriol also leads to incorporation of calcium and phosphorus in the skeleton, thus maintaining the mineral content of the bones. Therefore it plays an important role in the prevention of osteoporosis. In addition, results from recent scientific studies indicate that vitamin D may play an important role in heart health, immunity, and in the prevention of diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

Deficiency symptoms

  • lack of vitamin D negatively affects both calcium homeostasis and phosphorus metabolism, which may lead to rickets in babies and small children
  • in adults, D-hypovitaminosis causes osteomalacia. This disease is characterized by demineralization and structural changes in the mature bones resulting in softening, bending, and even spontaneous fracture


Vitamin D


Vitamin D is available in powder as well as in oily forms as Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol).
Vitamin D3 is consisting in white to yellowish crystalline compounds. They dissolve readily in organic solvents such as hexane, ether, acetone, and ethanol, less well in vegetable oils, and are insoluble in water.
Stability: Vitamin D3 is rapidly dissociated by light, oxygen, and acid, particularly in solution or in finely powdered form. They are stable in alkaline solutions but tend to isomerize in oily solutions. The thermal stability of the crystalline compounds is reasonable.


The use of Vitamin D in the food industry is subject to controls due to the risk of overdose. Currently, it may only be used in certain product groups. Depending on the country, these product groups may include food products for babies and small children, dietetic food products for weight reduction, balanced diets, margarine, spreads, milk and dairy products.
In cosmetic products, Vitamin D is used for its suggested ability to stimulate the keratinization, thereby enhancing the protective function of the skin.
For the application in dietary supplements special grades are available, which are e.g. suitable for soft gelatin capsules, hard shell capsules, oily solutions, drops, ointments, and creams as well as for multivitamin/mineral tablets.