Vitamin D

Vitamin D has two different forms: vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, which is derived of cholesterol and is synthesized by animal organisms, and vitamin D2, ergocal- ciferol, derives from ergosterol and can be assumed from foods of vegetable origin. The two forms have the same importance for our organism, which is why the term vitamin D indicates both.

The main function of this vitamin is to maintain plasma calcium and phosphorus concentrations within a range that permits normal cellular processes, neuromuscular functions, and ossification. However, it has also other functions, not related to minerals' metabolism.

Above all, vitamin D has been found to play an important role in controlling the immune system and cardiovascular functions and enhances inflammatory response (Khazai, 2008). Over the last few years, many studies have been conducted to investigate vitamin D health effects not related to bones; some studies have proposed a positive effect in reducing colon cancer (Holick, 2012) and neuro-vegetative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer (Littlejohns, 2014).

A recent study has shown that a low level of vitamin D is associated with the worsening of cognitive functions in the elderly (Wilson, 2014).

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