LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vitamin D2, molecular model. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is an essential nutrient that humans are unable to produce and need to obtain from their diet. Another form of vitamin D (D3) is made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is found in oily fish, dairy products and eggs. It is necessary for absorbing calcium and phosphorous in the gut. Deficiency can lead to bone disorders such as rickets (improper bone formation) in children, and osteomalacia (bone softening) and osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) in adults. Vitamin D2's chemical formula is C28H44O. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (C, grey), hydrogen atoms (H, turquoise) and oxygen (O, red).
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