The more common name for the above chemical is D3 as in Vitamin D (D3 aka cholecalciferol is the active form of Vitamin D).
Why is it "to the rescue," you ask? There's been a bunch of studies over the past decade that have found that if people take more vitamin D, they have 25 percent less cancer and heart disease. As a result, doctors, mine for example, have been prescribing megadoses of vitamin D in their patients with low serum levels of cholecalciferol. Sometimes as much as 50,000 units per dose. The FDA, by contrast, is 400 units per day.
What happens if you don't get enough? Well, a recent study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood are 26 percent more likely to die from any cause (heart disease and cancer being the headliners but even routine infections are more likely if you're deficient in vitamin D) than folks with respectable serum levels.
A lot of these benefits are due to the upregulation of the P53 gene, which helps check your DNA for mistakes in transcription and kills cells that have errors. Vitamin D also improves your ability to produce and use insulin so it probably helps protect against type 2 diabetes. The vitamin may help prevent autoimmune diseases too, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
As a result, a lot of doctors recommend people get 1,000 - 2,000 units of vit D a day (remember that D3 is the active form) but the official government recommendation hasn't shifted from 400 units yet. It probably will eventually.
I just happened to be thinking of this 'cause I'm almost out and need to go buy some more D3.
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