Men Can Maintain A Normal Calcium Metabolism With Vitamin D
Metabolism is a general term used to describe all of the chemical reactions that occur within the biological systems of the body responsible for the maintenance of life. Specific reactions are associated with particular metabolic pathways. These metabolic pathways utilize enzymes to function. Enzymes are incredible molecular structures, causing reactions that are normally unfavorable, and responsible for the regulation of these metabolic pathways due to changes in the environment or cellular signalling.
The most abundantly found mineral in the human body is calcium. Nearly all of the calcium within the body is localized to bone tissue, as this is where calcium is stored. Calcium levels within the bone are regulated mainly by the actions of calcitonin, parathyroid horomone, and vitamin D. Parathyroid hormone is responsible for stimulating the release of calcium from the bone matrix, and calcitonin is responsible for the calcium incorporation into the bone matrix.
Calcium metabolism refers directly to the maintenance and regulation of calcium levels within the body. This mechanisms that support adequate calcium metabolism prevent hypercalcemia (high calcium levels) and hypocalcemia (low calcium levels). Calcium metabolism is a complex metabolic pathway involving many enzymes, hormones, and proteins combined in a ordered systematic manner for proper functioning. It is scientifically certain that vitamin D is essential to regulate and maintain calcium metabolism.
Vitamin D, also known as calcitrol, is capable of being obtained in two ways. The first way, is sunlight. Vitamin D is absorbed by the skin when subjected to sunlight. The second is through means of food consumption. Varieties of foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D. Interestingly, vitamin D is biologically inactive until activated by the liver. Vitamin D is known to be a fat soluble vitamin. Deficiencies of vitamin D are common in the United States, however, this deficiency can easily be corrected with dietary and lifestyle changes or addition of a dietary vitamin D supplement.
Calcium Metabolism and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is most often associated with bone mineralization and bone growth. This is due to the fact that vitamin D is necessary for the efficient absorption of calcium from the intestines, as it facilitates this absorption. Adequate amounts of vitamin D are critical for maintenance and of proper calcium levels, as calcium can not be utilized efficiently without the presence of vitamin D. Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to debilitating disorders.
Maintenance of Normal Calcium Metabolism
Calcium metabolism is not one simple chemical reaction, but is an array of chemical reactions carefully maintained and regulated. Vitamin D is only one small part of this process. Maintenance of normal calcium metabolism can not be achieved through supplementation of adequate amounts of vitamin D alone. There are tens if not hundreds of other factors that affect the process of calcium metabolism; other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, environmental and genetic factors, and certain diseases or conditions.