Vitamin D includes a series of pro-hormones fat-soluble that have anti-rickets action. There are two ways to take vitamin D, through solar radiation exposition and trough nutrition, however in both possibility vitamin D has to undergo two hydroxylation to be transformed in the biologically active form.
The two primary forms of Vitamin D are Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin d3). Vitamin D2 derives from a common plant steroid, while vitamin D3, derives from cholesterol and it is only synthetized in animals.
Vitamin D3 is hydroxylated at liver level into 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OHD3), which represents the circulating and storage form of vitamin in tissues. Finally, it reaches the kidneys where it is converted to an active form: Calcitriol 1,25 (OH)2D3.
Biological function of Vitamin D3
- It is responsible of Ca and P absorption by the small bowel,
- It mobilizes calcium from the bones,
- It regulates bones calcifications and egg shell of laying hens,
- It regulates the development of immune system cells.
Benefits of Vitamin D3 for animals
- It increases bone quality,
- It increases the growth,
- It increases egg production and quality,
- Improves meat quality,
- It improves the animal health and wellness.
Vitamin D3 is extremely important in laying hens farming, especially close to peak periods in high-productivity ones. Vitamin D3 deficiency, even for a short period of time, can lead to potentially serious issues for the animal.
Vitamin D3 deficiency
- Rickets and bone mineralization deficiency,
- Weak bones,
- Growth reduction and decrease of feed conversion rate,
- Decrease of egg production,