Vitamin D2 Vs D: What Is The Difference And Which Is Better
Vitamin D, also called calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin produced by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It is available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication, and it is naturally present in or added to some foods. Vitamin D2 and D3 are the two primary forms of vitamin D. Although they are often used interchangeably, you may ask, what is the difference between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3?
My Doctor Prescribed 50000 Ius Of Vitamin D Isnt That Too Much
A dose of 50,000 IUs of vitamin D once a week is a common prescription to boost your vitamin D level if it is low. Pay attention to how often your doctor wants you to take this. It is not once a day that would be too much.
Typically your doctor will have you take this dose once a week for 2 to 3 months and then recheck your vitamin D blood level.
Some doctors recommend that you continue the dose of 50,000 IUs every other week for long term maintenance rather than prescribing a daily dose.
Note that the prescription strength of 50,000 IUs is vitamin D2. Some online sources that do not require a prescription may supply vitamin D3. A dose of 50,000 IUs of vitamin D2 should be taken at intervals no greater than three weeks because the blood levels wane. One dose of vitamin D3 lasts longer but you should take 50,000 IUs of vitamin D no greater than one month apart.
The Move Away From International Units
Starting in 2021, the International Unit will no longer be the only strength listed on vitamin D supplements. In fact, it may not be listed at all.
New dietary supplement labeling requirements from the FDA will go into full effect by January 2021. Among other things, they will require the strength of vitamin A, D and E to be listed as a metric measure .
“In addition to changing some DVs , the proposed rule would change the units used to declare vitamins A, E, and D from international units, or I.U. to a metric measure, milligrams or micrograms, and also would include the absolute amounts in milligrams or micrograms of vitamins and minerals, in addition to the % DV, on the label.” Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 103 / Friday, May 27, 2016
Many manufacturers have already started following these new requirements, by listing both the IU strength and the metric strength on their labels. Here is one example:
Hopefully, manufacturers will list both the International Units and the metric strength to assist individuals in finding the appropriate product.
However, there certainly may be situations where you need to convert between one or the other.
Fortunately, the conversion is easy.
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How Many Milligrams Of Vitamin D Should I Take In One Day
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 15 micrograms or 600 international units for most adults under 70. Vitamin D supplements often contain much more than the RDA, with some products ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 IUs per dose. The National Institutes of Health recommends that people limit their daily vitamin D intake to no more than 4,000 IUs from food and supplements combined. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine the supplemental dose that is right for you.
Are Vitamin D Or D3 The Same
When we refer to vitamin D, we are talking about Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 and D3 are both widely used vitamin D supplements but are not the same. Vitamin D2 is ergocalciferol and comes from plant-based sources. Vitamin D3 is cholecalciferol and comes from animal-based sources. Both supplements are processed in the body by the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D, though vitamin D3 is thought to provide higher levels of 25D. Some formulations of vitamin D2 are prescription only, while all formulations of vitamin D3 are over-the-counter.
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Cholecalciferol 1250 Mcg Capsule
The photos shown are samples onlyNot all photos of the drug may be displayed. Your medication may look different. If you have questions, ask your pharmacist.close popup
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Having the right amount of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus is important for building and keeping strong bones. Vitamin D is used to treat and prevent bone disorders . Vitamin D is made by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Sunscreen, protective clothing, limited exposure to sunlight, dark skin, and age may prevent getting enough vitamin D from the sun.
Vitamin D with calcium is used to treat or prevent bone loss . Vitamin D is also used with other medications to treat low levels of calcium or phosphate caused by certain disorders . It may be used in kidney disease to keep calcium levels normal and allow normal bone growth. Vitamin D drops are given to breast-fed infants because breast milk usually has low levels of vitamin D.
Take vitamin D by mouth as directed. Vitamin D is best absorbed when taken after a meal but may be taken with or without food. Alfacalcidol is usually taken with food. Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take as directed by your doctor. Your dosage is based on your medical condition, amount of sun exposure, diet, age, and response to treatment.
Is Vitamin D2 The Same As Vitamin D3
Vitamin D2 and D3 are slightly different. Both forms raise your blood vitamin D levels, and both can treat and prevent rickets from vitamin D deficiency. However, studies have found that vitamin D3 effectively raises blood vitamin D levels for a longer period than vitamin D2.
Additionally, vitamin D2 and D3 are derived from different sources. Vitamin D2 is plant-based. It is made by exposing ergosterol found in yeast to ultraviolet light. Vitamin D2 can also be found in some types of mushrooms. Vitamin D3 is sourced from sheep lanolin. It is made by exposing the lanolin to UV radiation to convert the cholesterol in lanolin to vitamin D3.
Vitamin D supplements can contain either vitamin D2 or D3. However, most over-the-counter preparations contain vitamin D3.
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Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D
While it is possible to take too much vitamin D, toxicity is very rare.
In fact, you would need to take extremely high doses of 50,000 IU or more for a long period of time .
Its also worth noting that it is impossible to overdose on vitamin D from sunlight .
Although 4,000 IU is set as the maximum amount of vitamin D you can take safely, several studies have shown that taking up to 10,000 IU daily wont cause side effects (
Common Side Effects Of Vitamin D Vs D3
There are no common side effects to therapy with either vitamin D2 or D3. Side effects related to vitamin D are the result of hypervitaminosis D, an extremely rare condition that occurs when you intake too much vitamin D. This is sometimes seen in patients who take megadoses of vitamin D, leading to vitamin D toxicity. The result is a build up of dangerously high levels of calcium in the blood which can lead to nausea, vomiting, constipation, and frequent urination. If left untreated, irreversible renal failure can occur along with calcification of organs and soft tissues.
The following table lists side effects related to hypervitaminosis D, not normal vitamin D supplementation. More information on vitamin D toxicity may be obtained from your doctor or pharmacist, as this may not be a complete list.
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What Side Effects Happen At Each Dose Of 50000 Units Of Vitamin D
- 24 Nov 2010 by Capitola
- 11 June 2022
- adrenalin, vitamin d, vitamins, vitamin d deficiency, vitamin/mineral supplementation and deficiency, side effect
I took my first dose of 50,000 units of vitamin this past Friday night. I was prescribed 50,000 units once a week for 12 weeks.
I experience adrenalin rush symptoms along with a little shakiness and insomnia. However once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until I woke up abruptly feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath and my heart pounding… I sat straight up in bed and violently coughed. It really scared me. After I calmed down all was fine and I was able to relax.
Now at 4 days later I just feel achy, a little nauseated, some stomach upset/cramps. I am finding myself a little scared to take the 2nd dose this friday night…
Has anyone had a similar experience? What can I expect after the 2nd dose? 3rd dose? etc.
Thanks so much for any advice you can give.~ Capitola : )
I feel like crap after I eat, like what Lisa said. Heart palpitations, jittery, super sleepy. it lasts for a hour or so, then i feel fine. Also I feel like crap if my meals are 4 or more hours apart now. I thought I was starting to become a diabetic. I had blood work done, everything is normal.
I have just been prescribed 50,000 iu Vitamin D. Took second dose today. I feel fine. No side effects so far.
What Form Does Vitamin D Come In
Vitamin D is available in many forms, including tablets, chewables, gummies, and softgels. Walgreens offers a variety of vitamin D supplements so that each customer can find the best option for them. Vitamin D3 is the most common supplement, but D3 supplements are often derived from animal products. Vitamin D2 supplements are sourced from plants and yeast.
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Conditions Treated By Vitamin D And D3
Vitamin D2 as a prescription is used to treat hypoparathyroidism , vitamin D resistant rickets, and hypophosphatemia . It is commonly used for vitamin D insufficiency in both its prescription and over-the-counter formulations. The FDA does not approve treatment claims for over-the-counter vitamin supplements, therefore, even though this use is very common, it is considered off-label.
All forms of vitamin D3 supplements are available over-the-counter, and therefore are not FDA approved to make treatment claims. However, vitamin D3 is commonly used off-label to treat hypoparathyroidism and vitamin D deficiency, as well as for osteoporosis prevention.
In March of 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic in the wake of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, more commonly known as COVID-19. Due to a lack of clear treatment guidelines and a waiting period for the vaccine to be available, the focus shifted to boosting our natural immune system. Vitamin D became a key player in our fight against COVID-19.
Preliminary studies have shown that Vitamin D reduced ICU admissions in COVID-19 patients and improved overall outcomes.
Various uses of vitamin D supplementation are listed in the table below. You should always seek medical advice before beginning vitamin D supplementation.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency may arise from lack of vitamin D in the diet, lack of sun exposure, or from poor absorption and conversion of vitamin D in the body. Most people with mild to moderate vitamin D deficiency will not experience any symptoms. Symptoms of severe vitamin D deficiency include bone pain and tenderness, muscle weakness, fractures, and difficulty walking. Children with severe vitamin D deficiency may develop rickets, where the bones become soft, weak, deformed, and painful. Teenagers and adults may develop osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and muscle weakness. Low vitamin D levels may also lead to osteoporosis in older women and men, where the bones become brittle and porous.
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Surrogate Versus Clinical Outcomes
Although 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are a better surrogate than a rat binding study, clinical outcomes are the most relevant. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are very common in North America and have been associated with a wide variety of diseases including osteoporosis, bone fractures, malignancy, cardiovascular disease, infections, and more. The majority of the data supports association, not causation, of low vitamin D levels. In other words, much of the data does not clearly support the idea that vitamin D supplementation in a patient with low vitamin D levels reduces the risk of these diseases.
With that said, a recent Cochrane review analyzed the all-cause mortality benefit of vitamin D supplementation by pooling 95,286 participants from 56 randomized clinical trials. In this meta-analysis, about 80% of participants received cholecalciferol and about 20% received ergocalciferol . The vast majority were women , and most were older than 70 years of age.
Why Is Ergocalciferol Prescribed
If ergocalciferol is less potent and has a shorter duration of effect, why is it used? The most likely reason is due to dosage formulations. Unlike cholecalciferol, which is typically only available as a maximum dose of 5,000 units per capsule or tablet, ergocalciferol is available as a monster 50,000 unit dose. This larger dose may be seen as more convenient for patients or healthcare providers who want to provide supplementation on a weekly or monthly basis.
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My Doctor Said That My Vitamin D Level Is Low Is That Really Bad
Its well established that Vitamin D is important in the regulation of the bodys calcium levels and bone development. If people dont get enough, they are at risk of diseases like rickets and osteoporosis. But researchers have more recently discovered that vitamin D receptors are found on almost all tissues of the body. This has caused a boom in vitamin D research scientists are investigating its role in everything from heart disease and diabetes to depression, cancer and the common cold.
You get Vitamin D in two ways: by consuming it in foods or supplements, and by making it in your skin when sunlight hits it. Vitamin D doesnt occur naturally in a lot of foods unless youre a really big fan of cod liver oil or mackerel, you wouldnt get nearly enough so many foods are fortified with it. Almost all of the milk sold in the U.S. is fortified with Vitamin D, as are many cereals, juices and yogurts.
That being said, people build up the majority of their bone density during their twenties so it wouldnt hurt to take a daily adult multi-vitamin containing around 600 IU of Vitamin D to help prevent osteoporosis later in life. Its also a good idea to get some regular sunlight exposure whenever you can even if its cold, itll turn on your skins Vitamin D factory. But dont overdo it taking too much can cause damage to the heart, blood vessels and kidneys. And excessive uv radiation exposure can damage your skin and put you at risk for really bad things.
Is Vitamin D Or D3 More Effective
Vitamin D2 and D3 are absorbed into the bloodstream where they are metabolized by the liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, otherwise collectively known as 25D or calcifediol. Calcifediol is the vitamin D complex circulating in your blood, and its levels directly reflect your bodys stores of vitamin D. Calcifediol is commonly referred to as the active form of vitamin D. When your doctor orders lab tests to check your vitamin D levels, they are measuring your calcifediol levels.
There have been several studies comparing whether supplementation with vitamin D2 or D3 produces a higher blood level of calcifediol. A study published by the National Institutes of Health was conducted in elderly, post-menopausal women who had been identified as vitamin D deficient. It compared the effects of receiving a single high dose of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 on calcifediol levels. The study concluded that vitamin D3 produced about twice the amount of circulating calcifediol in this patient population versus that of vitamin D2.
In a separate clinical trial comparing a 10-week regimen of twice weekly 50,000 IU dosing of both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 in demographically matched groups, vitamin D3 was also found to be superior in producing higher levels of 25D, or calcifediol.
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How Much Vitamin D Should Women Take
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is the same for men and women, including those who are pregnant or lactating. The RDA is 15 micrograms or 600 international units for most people age 1 to 70 years old. For those older than 70, the ability to absorb vitamin D can become more difficult, and the RDA is 20 mcg or 800 IUs. Some patient populations may require more vitamin D, and your healthcare provider can help answer any questions you have about vitamin D supplementation.
What Are The Main Differences Between Vitamin D And D3
The term vitamin D is kind of a misnomer because you will not find anything labeled simply as vitamin D in a pharmacy vitamin aisle. Rather, your choices will be vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 . Generally, when one mentions vitamin D, the implied selection is vitamin D2. For the purpose of this article, when vitamin D is mentioned, it will refer to vitamin D2. The names can be confusing, because many times, patients go into the pharmacy looking for vitamin D and are surprised that there is a D2 and a D3.
Vitamin D comes from plant sources, such as wild mushrooms, as well as fortified foods, such as milk or cereal products. Its strength is typically measured in international units, which is abbreviated as IU on labeling. The 50,000 IU capsules are prescription only, while lower strengths are available over-the-counter. Vitamin D is less expensive to produce and therefore is the form most commonly found in fortified food products.
Vitamin D3 mainly comes from animal sources such as fish oil, fatty fish, liver, and egg yolks. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D3. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Its strength is also measured in international units. All forms of vitamin D3 are available over-the-counter.
|Main differences between vitamin D and D3|
|Who typically uses the medication?||Infants, children, adolescents, and adults||Infants, children, adolescents, and adults|
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