It’s no longer news: Vitamin D plays a huge role in health.
Unfortunately, it’s still true that many adults (up to 60% in the US) are vitamin D deficient.
Because most of us don’t spend the day soaking up the sun’s rays, you may be one of the millions who have chosen to take a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D2 Vs D3
There are two forms of vitamin D available as a supplement – ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3).
Prescription versions of vitamin D, as well as many supplements, include the D2 form, which is derived from mushrooms. D3, which is found in higher-quality supplements, is most frequently derived from an oil extracted from wool.
Your body can metabolize either D2 or D3 to create calcidiol (or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the form of the vitamin that is measured in the blood), and calcitriol (the biologically active form).
Is it better to take one version of vitamin D instead of another?
The scientific answer to this question has yet to be finalized.
Here are three important reasons why some clinicians insist that their patients only use D3:
- The D3 form of the vitamin is closer to the natural type formed in your skin when you’re exposed to sunlight.
- It’s a shorter, easier metabolic pathway for your body to convert D3 into a useable form.
- Some research shows that your blood stream gets a better D boost if you take D3 supplements.
On the other hand, proponents of using the less-expensive D2 have some evidence in their favor too.
- The two forms can be converted into each other in the body.
- Competing research studies show that the measurable benefits of D2 and D3 are about the same.
What I recommend to my patients
- If you’re already taking a vitamin d supplement and you’re satisfied with the results, don’t change.
- If you feel that you could benefit from vitamin D supplementation, I recommend a liquid suspension of vitamin D3. The product I suggest gives you 2,000 IU in only one drop under the tongue. It’s believed that absorption under the tongue is more efficient than absorption through the stomach.
I feel it’s unethical to recommend specific dietary supplements over the internet to people who I’ve never met. But if you need more information, or a link to a high quality supplement that I recommend to my patients, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deepen Your Body of Knowledge
D3 is better than D2: Article 1