Vitamin D3. Computer model of a molecule of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (yellow), hydrogen (white) and oxygen (pink). This is the form of vitamin D produced in the human body by the action of sunlight on skin. Vitamin D is fat- soluble and also found in foods such as oily fish, milk liver and egg yolk. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the gut. Deficiencies in vitamin D lead to rickets (improper bone formation) in children, and osteomalacia (bone softening) and osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) in adults.
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