You probably already know that you need calcium for strong, healthy bones. Phosphorus is another mineral that helps build and repair bones. But did you know that your body needs vitamin D to help enhance calcium and phosphorus absorption? Vitamin D plays a key role in enhancing phosphorus entry as well as maintaining a healthy balance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. That makes vitamin D a critical component to maintaining healthy and strong bones.
Both calcium and phosphorus absorption takes place in the intestinal tract, most particularly in the lower segment of the small intestine, which is called the ileum. In fact, 70 to 80% of calcium absorption occurs in this specific area of the intestines. 1 The entry of calcium and phosphorus into the digestive tract is positively enhanced by the presence of Vitamin D.1 That means that vitamin D is the key to getting calcium and phosphorus to enter the blood stream via the gut.
Low levels of vitamin D can result in insufficient levels of both calcium and phosphorus. Therefore, it is not surprising that low levels of vitamin D can also be associated with soft, brittle or deformed bones. Maintaining proper levels of vitamin D has been associated with the prevention of softening and weakening of bones in children (known as Rickets) as well as softening of the bones (known as Osteomalacia) in adults. Vitamin D and calcium also help protect older adults from reduction in bone mass and thinning of the bone which predisposes the bones to break at the slightest movement (known as osteoporosis).2,3
A simple comparison would be to consider vitamin D as a doorman in the gut. It is the one responsible for opening the door and allowing the minerals calcium and phosphorus to enter. Once in the gut, calcium and phosphorus are free to move throughout the body to do what they do best; strengthen, repair, and build bone and teeth. But without vitamin D, it would have been very difficult for either calcium or phosphorus to enter. Of course some would have succeeded in entering, but in much lower concentrations.
So the next time you take in vitamin D either via sunlight, food or a supplement, like Ddrops®, know that calcium and phosphorus are also on the way to help maintain healthy and strong bones.
Learn about Ddrops® liquid vitamin D products here.
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Natalie Bourré is a Ddrops Guest Blogger. She is a mom of 4 young children, health writer and social media consultant who is passionate about promoting good health for the entire family. She is keen to share scientific information about about vitamin D in an easy to understand fashion. She also truly listens to people’s input and as such, she welcomes you to connect, discuss and share your questions and feedback with her on our social media accounts.
1. R.H. Wasserman. Vitamin D and the Dual Processes of Intestinal Calcium Absorption. J. Nutr. November 1, 2004
vol. 134 no. 11 3137-3139
2. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.