Healthy Aging

Using Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) for Real Anti-Aging Benefits

Bone & Muscle Defense

Bone & Muscle Defense

Protects and supports muscle and bone health


Using Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) for Real Anti-Aging Benefits about Bone & Muscle Defense

Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) Delivers Healthier Aging -- And You're Not Getting Enough!

Cholecalciferol-- also called vitamin D3 -- is the biologically active form of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in your overall health and well-being. Just about everywhere you look in the body, you'll find that it plays a part in great health -- strengthening bones, keeping your memory sharp, helping your immune system fend off disease, improving the power of your heart, your muscles and much more.

In this article, we'll look at the remarkable benefits of cholecalciferol and how to make sure you're getting enough of this amazing nutrient. Spoiler alert: Chances are, you're not.

So, here's what you need to know about this misunderstood nutrient, the natural ways to get it, the best supplements to take and how much the science shows you need to be taking for healthy aging and a long life.

Key Takeaways

  • Cholecalciferol is another word for vitamin D3, the most absorbable form of vitamin D.

  • Vitamin D3 is essential for maintaining healthy bones as well as impacting the health of almost every system in your body, from your brain to your digestion.

  • Load up on natural sources of vitamin D3 such as sunlight and fatty fish, eggs and beef liver as well as dietary supplements. The real problem for just about everyone is not having too much, but not having enough for healthy aging.

Understanding Vitamin D3

Your body needs cholecalciferol for numerous healthy functions. This wonder vitamin helps your digestive tract absorb calcium and phosphate from the food you eat. You need to get enough of these nutrients to keep your bones healthy and allow your cells to make important proteins.

Unfortunately, many people don't get enough cholecalciferol in their food or from the sun to keep their body functioning at its peak. Older adults in particular may lack enough vitamin D to stay healthy.

What is cholecalciferol?

Cholecalciferol is a type of Vitamin D that you can get by:

  • Being out in the sun. The ultraviolet light in the sun's rays interacts with chemicals in the skin to form cholecalciferol.

  • Eating foods rich in cholecalciferol such as egg yolks, fatty fish like sardines, salmon and herring, and beef liver. Some foods are also fortified with vitamin D.

  • Taking cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) supplements

After the body produces cholecalciferol in the skin or takes it in from food, it is carried to the liver and kidneys where it is chemically altered so it can be used by the body. Since it is one of the fat-soluble vitamins, cholecalciferol can be stored in the body fat and pulled out of storage when needed.

Cholecalciferol's role in promoting calcium and phosphate absorption in the gut helps to maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood, which are essential for bone health. Studies show that cholecalciferol supports immunity, muscle function and brain cell activity. It also reduces inflammation -- so that out-of-control immune cells don't damage the body.

Research shows that taking cholecalciferol supplements can lower your risk of arthritis, autoimmune thyroid issues and psoriasis. It's also a neuroprotective antioxidant that defends brain cells from oxidative stress.

Natural Sources

Your skin makes vitamin D when it absorbs the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. And if you eat fatty fish, you also take in a good amount. For instance, three ounces of cooked sockeye salmon contains around 570 IU of cholecalciferol, while fresh yellowfin tuna provides approximately 82 IU per 100 grams. Eggs are a good dietary source -- each egg contains around 44 IU of cholecalciferol. A 3.5 ounce serving of beef liver has about 50 IU.

Today, there are a lot of reasons why you often can't get enough cholecalciferol by getting out in the sun. If you live north of Tennessee, there isn't enough strong sunlight in the winter for your skin to make much of this vitamin. Plus, most of us stay indoors during the winter. However, you can compensate for the loss with cholecalciferol supplements. Balancing sun exposure and dietary intake of cholecalciferol is key to attaining optimal health.

Dietary Supplements

Cholecalciferol supplements (which are the same as vitamin D3 supplements) are essential for keeping your body's levels of vitamin D3 in the healthy, anti-aging range.

The recommended daily intake of cholecalciferol through a dietary supplement, based on dietary reference intakes, varies depending on your age and sex. For example, if you are between the ages of 19 to 70 years, the conventional recommendations are to consume 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D3 in dietary supplements, while adults ages 71 years and older are told to consume 800 IU (20 mcg). But some experts believe this is not nearly enough.

In the past two decades of delving into the research on cholecalciferol, our writing team has learned that the only way to know if you are getting enough cholecalciferol is to have your blood level checked annually. If you live anywhere in the U.S. besides the southernmost states and you don't take cholecalciferol supplements, chances are you're running short on this essential vitamin.

Most natural doctors warn that we are gambling with our health and longevity when we don't get enough cholecalciferol. And the conventional recommendations are sadly inadequate for optimal health. In the view of many natural doctors, it is best to try to get a blood level of between 50ng/ml and 80ng/ml. That's a lot more than the usual recommendation of attaining 20ng/ml to 40 ng/ml. And some researchers think 80ng/ml to 100 ng/ml is even better!

In the next sections, we will probe further into the many health benefits of cholecalciferol and its involvement in different medical conditions.

Health Benefits of Cholecalciferol

Cholecalciferol offers numerous health benefits, thanks to its vital role in various bodily functions. Most people seem to know that this vitamin promotes bone health. But what you may not know is that cholecalciferol also supports better memory and cognitive function and immunity.

In the following sections, we'll take a closer look at the distinct health benefits of vitamin D3, such as its effects on improving:

  • Bone health

  • Memory and cognitive function

  • The immune system's ability to fight off disease

  • Heart health and cardiovascular disease

  • Digestive health

  • Longevity

  • Muscle strength

Bone Health

Cholecalciferol is critical for maintaining bone health and preventing bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis. It increases the absorption of calcium from food in the intestine, ensuring that the body obtains the necessary amount of calcium for bone mineralization. In addition, cholecalciferol is involved in:

  • Bone growth

  • Bone remodeling -- the disassembly of older bone tissue and replacement with new bone

  • Helping prevent osteoporosis

  • Reducing the likelihood of bone fractures

When you are deficient in cholecalciferol your bone density may decrease, leading to osteoporosis and fractures. Severe deficiency can lead to bone deformities, including rickets (softening and weakening of bones) in children. Maintaining adequate levels of cholecalciferol is essential for optimal bone health and preventing bone-related diseases.

Strengthens Muscles

Cholecalciferol helps maintain your muscle strength and endurance, especially as you age. It plays a crucial role in allowing muscle cells to communicate via cellular signaling-- signals that coordinate muscle cells' efforts at staying stronger and keeping muscles from shrinking. This nutrient also helps to keep the muscle cells from weakening due to insulin resistance. Plus, studies indicate that along with helping muscle fibers maintain their size and strength, cholecalciferol can also reduce the muscle pain often associated with getting older.

Tests at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, show that in people 60 years of age and older, muscle weakness is twice as high in those who have a vitamin D deficiency compared to those who get enough vitamin D. By the way, when you take cholecalciferol, you should also take vitamin K. Research shows that the two vitamins work together to support the well-being of your bones and muscles and, as you'll see in a minute, your cardiovascular system. That's why here at Green Valley Naturals we've formulated Bone & Muscle Defense with clinical dosages of cholecalciferol, a patented form of K2 called K2Vital® as well as other critical nutrients to support healthy bones and muscles. Of course, it's only the beginning of what this nutrient can do for you.

Cognitive Function and Memory

The role that cholecalciferol plays in supporting better brain health and cognitive function often gets neglected. Research shows that maintaining healthy vitamin D levels can significantly lower your chances of dementia and support overall cognitive function. In one study, scientists analyzed the link between vitamin D supplementation and dementia. They tabulated the medical records of more than 12,000 seniors and found that taking vitamin D supplements could reduce dementia risk by a whopping 40 percent. That's a pretty remarkable result for a simple vitamin D supplement.

What's more, tests show that cholecalciferol can help prevent or delay dementia by aiding in the clearance of amyloid plaques that can damage the brain's neurons. It also reduces dementia-related inflammation. An ongoing study called VitaMIND at the University of Exeter is now exploring the brain benefits of taking vitamin D supplements and further examining how they may prevent or delay dementia.

Immune System Support

Cholecalciferol is really the Holy Grail of vitamins when it comes to your immune system. Cholecalciferol provides crucial support for the immune system and helps prevent illness and infections by :

  • Regulating immune cell activity

  • Enhancing immune responses

  • Inhibiting immune cells called B cells that can cause autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 diabetes

  • Reducing inflammation

This immune system support is important for overall health and wellbeing. Nobody wants to be sick all the time! Especially when it comes to chronic autoimmune illness.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that at least 50 million Americans suffer from one or more autoimmune diseases which include psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica (which causes muscle pain and stiffness) and autoimmune thyroid disease. These conditions, which mostly strike women, are among the ten leading causes of death today among American women.

A five-year study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital involving more than 25,000 people in their 50s and older found that taking vitamin D lowered the chances for an autoimmune disease by 22 percent. (The men in the study were all over age 50, the women were over age 55.)

Cholecalciferol is particularly valuable for its anti-inflammatory effects, especially when it comes to your heart.

Heart Health

Cholecalciferol also plays a significant role in promoting heart health. Research conducted at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia found that vitamin D3 can improve heart health after a heart attack and reduce the risk of heart failure. Vitamin D prevents the heart from scarring excessively and stops heart tissue from thickening too much -- scarring that often occurs after a heart attack. The buildup of scar tissue is a result of inflammation and can impair the heart’s ability to pump blood which can lead to heart failure. But cholecalciferol can calm that inflammation.

Cholecalciferol blocks the action of cells that would otherwise gather in the collagen that forms scar tissue on the heart. This is another factor that contributes to the importance of this essential nutrient in your overall wellbeing.

As an added bonus, taking more than the conventionally recommended amount of cholecalciferol lowers your risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib, which occurs when the heart's rhythm speeds up worryingly or is problematically inconsistent). AFib is the most common heart arrhythmia. Your chances of AFib increase with age and it ups your chances of heart failure, stroke and early death. Tests in Finland show taking a daily oral capsule of cholecalciferol of 80 mg (3200 IU) drops the risk of AFib by 32 percent.

Digestive Support

Cholecalciferol also provides important digestive support. Studies have shown that cholecalciferol is beneficial for relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Many people with IBS are deficient in vitamin D, so supplements can assist in managing and reducing IBS symptoms. And experts recommend that anyone suffering IBS have their vitamin D levels tested.

Some of the digestive benefits of cholecalciferol include:

  • Lowering inflammation of the digestive tract

  • Reducing the risk of inflammatory bowel disease

  • Improving the digestive absorption of magnesium, iron and zinc

Ensuring that we consume adequate amounts of cholecalciferol through sunlight exposure, dietary sources, and supplementation is essential for a healthy digestive system.


Maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is critical for overall health, longevity and life expectancy. Studies have shown that individuals with higher cholecalciferol levels have a lower risk of early death, while those with low cholecalciferol levels have higher chances of dying from coronary disease, lymphoma, cancer of the digestive tract and respiratory cancer. Diabetics who are low in cholecalciferol are also more likely to die at a younger age.

Indications for Cholecalciferol Supplementation

Many folks today should be taking cholecalciferol supplements. We'll take a look at all the reasons for taking supplements in the upcoming sections. These include the fact that a deficiency of cholecalciferol is so frequent in modern society. In fact, about 85 percent of seniors are deficient in vitamin D, increasing their risk of developing muscle weakness as they age, among other chronic conditions.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed by measuring the concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood through a blood test, which also takes into account the levels of vitamin D binding protein and vitamin D metabolites.

A deficiency in cholecalciferol can lead to a variety of health problems including:

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Repeated illnesses

  • Muscle weakness

  • Bone pain

  • Impaired wound healing

Proper cholecalciferol therapy can help prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency, ensuring that your body receives what it needs to maintain optimal health.

Chronic Kidney Disease

People with chronic kidney disease should always get their cholecalciferol levels checked. Your kidneys process the cholecalciferol you take in supplements or make in your skin and change it into a form that the rest of the body can use. So if your kidney function is impaired, they may not be able to churn out much usable vitamin D.

If you have chronic kidney disease talk to your healthcare provider about your cholecalciferol needs. And have regular blood tests to monitor your levels of vitamin D, calcium and phosphate serum.

Other Medical Conditions

Cholecalciferol is also good for dealing with other medical conditions, including hypoparathyroidism -- which can cause fatigue, muscle twitches, muscle pain and mood problems -- and certain autoimmune diseases. In the case of hypoparathyroidism, cholecalciferol supplementation is essential for helping the body maintain its supply of calcium and phosphate by promoting the absorption of calcium from the intestines and ramping up reabsorption of calcium by tubes in the kidneys. That reabsorption is regulated by parathyroid hormone in the body. Parathyroid hormone and cholecalciferol interact with an intricate feedback system that helps to keep your body's use of calcium on track.

For certain autoimmune diseases, cholecalciferol supplementation may help regulate immune responses and keep them from escalating into chronic inflammation. In rheumatoid arthritis, cholecalciferol sends out signals to immune cells to stop producing inflammatory chemicals that lure destructive immune cells into arthritic joints. That helps make the joints less painful and stiff.

Cholecalciferol can also help relieve fatigue because the mitochondria (tiny energy-producing modules) in your cells depend on it to keep cranking out the energy supply to keep cells functioning.

Dosage and Administration Guidelines

Appropriate dosage and administration of cholecalciferol are pivotal for its effectiveness and for achieving optimal health. In the upcoming sections, we talk about the recommended dosages of cholecalciferol tailored to your individual needs and vitamin D levels.

Recommended Dosage

The conventional recommended dosages of cholecalciferol for adults is 600-800 international units (IU) of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) per day. The dosage for children ranges from 400 to 1,500 IU, depending on their age.

But this is probably not enough for optimal health.

Mainstream medical folks often claim that a maximum safe dosage of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) per day is 4,000 international units (IU). While you shouldn't necessarily take huge doses of cholecalciferol, often there is reason to take more if you are suffering from symptoms of chronic illness or premature aging.

Potential Side Effects

While cholecalciferol supplementation is crucial for optimal health, on rare occasions some folks might take too much. So you should be aware of its potential side effects. In the upcoming section, we will lay out potential side effects if you overdo cholecalciferol supplementation (though this rarely happens).

Possible (Rare) Side Effects of Overdoing Your Vitamin D Supplements

Possible side effects of cholecalciferol supplementation include (but these hardly ever happen):

  • Hypercalcemia: elevated levels of calcium in the blood,

  • Hypercalciuria: excessive calcium in your urine.

  • Nephrolithiasis: kidney stones.

Potential symptoms of hypercalciuria caused by supplementation with overly large amounts of cholecalciferol may include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

It is important to consult with a knowledgeable healthcare professional if any of these side effects occur or if you have questions about cholecalciferol supplements.


Cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, is a crucial nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being. Throughout this blog post, we have explored the numerous health benefits of cholecalciferol, such as promoting bone health, cognitive function, immune system support, heart health, digestive support, longevity and muscle strength. Ensuring that we consume adequate amounts of cholecalciferol through sunlight exposure, dietary sources and supplementation is vitally important for maintaining optimal health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cholecalciferol the same as vitamin D?

Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin as cholecalciferol which is another name for vitamin D3. It can also be obtained from dietary sources or supplements. Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) are both forms of vitamin D that our bodies absorb in the small intestine. Cholecalciferol is used by the body in the support of healthy bones, muscles, nerves and to properly regulate the immune system.

What is cholecalciferol used for?

Supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is used to treat vitamin D deficiency and disorders caused by a lack of vitamin D, such as rickets or osteomalacia. It can also be used to maintain bone strength when taken with calcium and vitamin K and is essential to fight many illnesses and disorders of aging. It is available in both over-the-counter and prescription formulations.

Who should not take cholecalciferol?

People with an allergic reaction to vitamin D, hypervitaminosis D, hypercalcemia or malabsorption should not take cholecalciferol.

Is cholecalciferol vitamin D or D3?

Cholecalciferol is vitamin D3, a supplement that helps the body absorb calcium and maintain normal calcium and phosphate levels in the blood. Because of its chemical structure, it is referred to as a secosteroid. It is produced by the skin and is also present in certain foods like fatty fish and egg yolks. Cholecalciferol is needed for healthy bones, muscles, nerves and to support the immune system, the cardiovascular system and your brain's healthy function.

What are the natural sources of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)?

Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) can be sourced naturally from sunlight exposure, fatty fish, eggs and beef liver.

Virtanen, JK, et al. The effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on atrial fibrillation in generally healthy men and women: The Finnish Vitamin D Trial." American Heart Journal Volume 264, October 2023, Pages 177-182.

Bjelakovic, G, et al. "Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults." Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Jan 10:(1).

Dirks-Naylor, AJ, et al. "The effects of vitamin D on skeletal muscle function and cellular signaling." J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol.2011 Jul;125(3-5):159-68

Turcotte, LP, et al. "Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance: Roles of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Exercise." Phys Ther. 2008 Nov; 88(11): 1279–1296.

Annweiler, C. et al. "Vitamin D-Sire for Longevity: Can Vitamin D Contribute to Life Expectancy?" The journal of nutrition, health & aging.

Tabatabaeizadeh, S-A, et al. "Vitamin D, the gut microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease." J Res Med Sci. 2018; 23: 75.

Cashman, JD. "Calcium and vitamin D." Novartis Found Symp.2007:282:123-38; discussion 138-42, 212-8.

van Balliegooijen AJ, et al. " The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review." Int J Endocrinol. 2017; 2017: 7454376.

Ghahremani M, et al. "Vitamin D supplementation and incident dementia: Effects of sex, APOE, and baseline cognitive status." Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2023 Mar 1;15(1):e12404.

Bone & Muscle Defense

Bone & Muscle Defense

Protects and supports muscle and bone health


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