milk and sunflower

What is Vitamin D

Humans receive vitamin D, or cholecalciferol, from fish and dairy products. Vitamin D production in the human body happens when skin gets exposed to sunlight. However, most vitamin D consumed in America comes from fortified foods. The food industry provides vitamin D supplementation to support a wide range of bodily functions. Choose Brenntag North America as your vitamin D distributor for a custom solution.

Properties and Benefits of Vitamin D

Cholecalciferol, the initial form of vitamin D, is technically a steroid hormone. It has the chemical formula C27H44O and a molecular weight of 384.648 g/mol. This type of vitamin D has the official designation of vitamin D3. The human body does not use it in its original state. Instead, cholecalciferol undergoes two hydroxylations before it becomes active. First, the liver converts cholecalciferol into calcidiol. Then, calcidiol travels to the kidney to turn into calcitriol. After use, the human body stores excess vitamin D in fat tissue. Adults should consume 15 mcg of vitamin D every day. Older adults and people with dark skin may need more vitamin D supplementation. Consuming more than the tolerable upper intake level of 100 mcg can raise calcium amounts to dangerous levels. Excessive calcium damages the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels.

Vitamin D supports critical bodily functions. It maintains bone and teeth health by regulating calcium levels. This nutrient boosts the immune system and modulates cell development. Research suggests that it can reduce the risk of diabetes and slow the growth of cancer cells. Obtaining enough Vitamin D prevents rickets and osteomalacia, conditions that impair the formation of new bone tissue.

Peaches with vanilla yogurt and peaches in bowls

Vitamin D uses in various industries

Food producers add vitamin D to a variety of foods. Vitamin D fortification allows them to comply with regulations and offer a more nutritious product. The Canadian and American food industries must add vitamin D to certain products. Canada mandates that specific dairy products include it. While the United States does not require fortification for most foods, infant formula must contain vitamin D. Most of the United States milk supply contains added vitamin D as a result of previous efforts to combat a rickets epidemic.

Nutraceutical companies sell vitamin D as a standalone supplement or multivitamin. These products can contain vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamins D2 and D3 have few differences in chemical structure. The human body processes these vitamins in almost identical ways. Most vitamin D supplements on the market contain vitamin D2. This form of vitamin D offers the same benefits as vitamin D3 at a lower cost of production. In the United States, 37 percent of the population takes a supplement that includes a form of vitamin D.



Count on Brenntag North America as your vitamin d supplier

Brenntag North America offers custom ingredient solutions to the food and nutrition industry. Every client we have works with an account manager who understands their field.

When you choose Brenntag as your vitamin D distributor, you will receive a valuable business partner. Contact us today for a quote.


This document is for informational purposes only. You accept sole responsibility for reading and complying with the Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s), as well as any other safety information, relating to the products listed herein. The information contained herein is based on Brenntag’s knowledge at the time of publication or release and not on any publications, independent studies, empirical evidence or other form of verification. You should not use or rely on any statements contained herein as a basis for any representations or warranties to your customers or end users as to the safety, efficacy or suitability of any product or for purposes of ensuring your compliance with any laws or regulations. Brenntag makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or as to fitness of any product for any particular purpose. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as an authorization to use or an inducement to practice any patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right. Before producing and distributing any product, it is your sole responsibility to adequately test and document the performance of the product and acquire any required intellectual property rights. You assume all risks for failing to do so and Brenntag shall not be liable (regardless of fault) to you, your employees, customers or end users or any third party for direct, special or consequential damages arising out of or in connection with the furnishing or use of this information. Please contact your local Brenntag representative if you have any questions about this information.