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cholecalciferol - vitamin D

On WHO Model List of Essential Medicines : NO

Alternative names: -


Cholecalciferol is one of the five forms of vitamin D - vitamin D3. It is a secosteroid - a steroid molecule with one ring open. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.

Cholecalciferol is used to treat or prevent many conditions caused by a lack of vitamin D, especially conditions of the skin or bones. 

However, vitamins, by definition are essential organic compounds which cannot be synthesised by the body and must be ingested - but cholecalciferol is synthesized by the body, and functions as a prehormone. Cholecalciferol itself is inactive: it is converted to its active form by two reactions: the first in the liver, the second in the kidney, to form calcitriol, whose action is mediated by the vitamin D receptor.

This receptor regulates the synthesis of hundreds of enzymes and is present in virtually every cell in the body.


Toxicology report

Last edited: 26 May 2016 11:26

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