Cholecalciferol (/ˌkoʊləkælˈsɪfərɒl/) (vitamin D3) is one of the five forms of vitamin D. It is a secosteroid, that is, a steroid molecule with one ring open. This and all forms of vitamin D are misnamed: vitamins by definition are essential organic compounds which cannot be synthesized by the body and must be ingested; cholecalciferol is synthesized by the body, and functions as a prehormone. Cholecalciferol is inactive: it is converted to its active form by two hydroxylations: the first in the liver, the second in the kidney, to form calcitriol, whose action is mediated by the vitamin D receptor, a nuclear receptor which regulates the synthesis of hundreds of enzymes and is present in virtually every cell in the body.
vitamin D3, activated 7-dehydrocholesterol
|Jmol interactive 3D||Image|
|Molar mass||384.64 g/mol|
|Appearance||White, needle-like crystals|
|Melting point||83 to 86 °C (181 to 187 °F; 356 to 359 K)|
|Boiling point||496.4 °C (925.5 °F; 769.5 K)|
Solubility in water
|Practically insoluble in water, freely soluble in Abs. Ethanol, Methanol and some other organic solvents. Slightly soluble in vegetable oils.|
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