Molecule of the Week


March 7, 2011

Cholecalciferol, the inactive form of vitamin D3, is found in fish oils and is photosynthesized in human skin by sunlight. It was first prepared in the lab by A. Windaus and co-workers in 1936. Cholecalciferol undergoes two metabolic biochemical reactions that convert it to vitamin D3’s active form, calcitriol, a hormone that mediates intestinal calcium absorption and bone calcium metabolism. Recently, T. Takahashi et al. improved the synthesis of cholecalciferol by using a flow microreactor.

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