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J Clin Invest. 1971 Mar;50(3):679-87.

Deposition in and release of vitamin D3 from body fat: evidence for a storage site in the rat.


Vitamin D in all body tissues was radio-labeled by supplementing completely vitamin D-deficient weanling rats with oral vitamin D(3)-4-(14)C for 2 wk. All vitamin D was then withheld, and radioactivity and vitamin D content in a variety of organs and tissues were measured. Adipose tissue was found to contain by far the greatest quantity of radioactivity throughout the 3 month experimental period. Immediately after supplementation, half of the total radioactivity in adipose tissue corresponded to unaltered vitamin D(3), and the other half to polar metabolites and esters of vitamin D(3) and unidentified peak II. 1 month later there was approximately the same proportion but a decrease in the total quantity of each form. We conclude that adipose tissue is the major storage site for vitamin D(3) in its several forms. Unaltered vitamin D(3) was the principal storage form observed and presumably a source available for conversion to other metabolites during deprivation.

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