What is the chemical name of vitamin d?

Vitamin D is a crucial component of our body that we often overlook. We know it’s important, but do we really understand its chemical nature? In this article, we will explore the chemical structure and nomenclature of vitamin D in an amusing tone. So grab your chemistry goggles and let’s get started!

What Exactly is Vitamin D?

Before diving into the ins and outs of its name, let’s first remind ourselves what exactly vitamin D is all about. It’s actually not just one substance but refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate.

Wait hold up, “fat-soluble secosteroids”? Isn’t that just science talk for “stuff that sounds complicated”? Let me break it down for you – these are molecules made by our bodies when sunlight hits our skin or can be obtained from certain foods such as fish oils or fortified cereals. They play a significant role in maintaining bone health by helping us absorb calcium in our intestines.

The Different Types Of Vitamin-D

Now, here comes the fun part! There are two main types of vitamin D that humans use:

#1 Cholecalciferol – From Sunlight

Cholecalciferol (also known as Vitamin D₃) is synthesized naturally when 7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with UVB ultraviolet light from sunlight. You might have heard people saying that they need their daily dose ###of sunshine- well now you know why!

#2 Ergocalciferol – Food Sources

Ergocalciferol (VitaminD₂), on the other hand, comes from plant sources such as fungi; some studies suggest mushrooms to be among food items richest in ergocalciferols!

So if you want to maintain healthy levels ####of Vit. D, it is essential to make sure your diet includes food sources of ergocalciferol as well as getting sufficient sunshine exposure.

Chemical Nomenclature – From Sunshine To A Long Name

Now let’s get into the chemical details that govern these molecules’ names-If you have an allergic reaction towards long scientific names, brace yourself for this!

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has assigned systematic names ##to these vitamin D compounds based on their structures:

Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D₃): 9,10-Secocholesta-5,Z,7E-trien-3β-ol

PhewThat seems like a lot doesn’t it? Here is what all these words mean in simpler terms;

It starts with “Secholesta,” which indicates a structural feature unique to sterols such as Vitamin-D molecules. The numbers before Seco indicate where the “sec”bond ends: so when we read “9,10-seco’ , that means there are two carbon-carbon single bonds above positions nine and ten; both were broken during biosynthetic or isolation processes to produce different kinds of derivatives.

Then comes the Z,E notation signifying the configuration/positioning around double bonds-the letter Z indicated they are present on opposite sides, whereas E means they are positioned at same side-as seen in carotenoids.

The molecule ends with ol indicating presence of characteristic hydroxyl groups (-OH).

Ergocalciferol also boasts its own lengthy name!

(Ergocalciferol) VitaminD₂: 9,10-Secoergosta-5Z ,7Z,-22E-trien-3β-oL

Again we can see the label Serial number + ‘Seco’, followed by unique organic skeleton named Ergosteroid for various plant-origin steroidal triterpenoids. The numbers 5Z,7Z say that there are two double bonds around their five and seven-carbon atoms on the same sides while the “22E” bond refers to configuration around C-22 alkene.

And voila! There you have it folks, an unofficial guide to Vitamin-D’s chemical nomenclature.


So now that we’ve taken a deep (but coordinated) dive into vitamin D’s scientific namesake. Talking about something as technical as this doesn’t always need explanations stated in big words or phrases like It all boils down to how scientifically rigorous terms point us in the right direction of understanding these molecules’ properties.

Now I guarantee when next time someone asks about Vitamin-D’s chemical nomenclature, You’ll be able to answer confidently without any hesitation or faltering over such trivial info!

Before you go away beating yourself up for not having paid attention during your chemistry lectures at school its fine! Its better late than never- Knowledge is power afterall.

Stay Safe and sun-kissed with healthy levels⠀⠀of Vitamind-d flowing through your blood!