Why Do Doctors Prescribe Vitamin D2 Instead Of D3
Even though they’re equally effective in addressing vitamin D deficiency, as mentioned, vitamin D2 is still the form used in prescriptions.
In that case, why do doctors prescribe vitamin D2 instead of D3?
The reason is that it is ergocalciferol that helps in treating hypoparathyroidism, hypophosphatemia, and rickets, which is a bone condition caused by vitamin D deficiency.
Simply put, vitamin D2 is the form that has therapeutic value, compared with vitamin D3 that is indicated as a supplement.
Provides Antioxidant Properties And Defends Against Cancer
Recent studies have found that vitamin B2 intake is inversely associated with with some of the most common types of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer. Vitamin B2 benefits the immune system because it acts as an antioxidant that controls the presence of damaging free radicals within the body. Vitamin B2 riboflavin is required for the production of an antioxidant called glutathione, which acts as a free radical killer and also detoxes the liver.
Free radicals are what age the body. When they go uncontrolled, it can result in the development of various disease. Vitamin B2 plays a part in defending against disease by maintaining a healthy lining within the digestive tract, where much of the immune system is stored. A healthy digestive system allows the body to absorb and use the most nutrients from your diet that it can. Thus, a riboflavin deficiency can mean less nutrients properly being used for bodily energy.
Riboflavin, along with other B vitamins, is correlated in preliminary studies with helping to prevent certain types of cancer including colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Although more research is still needed to know the exact role of riboflavin in cancer prevention, at this time researchers believe that vitamin B2 works to minimize the effects of cancer-producing carcinogens and oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
What Does Sunlight Have To Do With Getting Enough Vitamin D
There are health benefits of sunlight. Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunshine, or rather, the ultraviolet B radiation that the sun emits. The amount of vitamin D that your skin makes depends on such factors as:
- The season: This factor depends a bit on where you live. In areas such as Cleveland, OH, the UV-B light does not reach the earth for six months out of the year due to the ozone layer and the zenith of the sun.
- The time of day: The sun’s rays are most powerful between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- The amount of cloud cover and air pollution.
- Where you live: Cities near the equator have higher ultraviolet light levels. It is the UV-B light in sunlight that causes your skin to make vitamin D.
- The melanin content of your skin: Melanin is a brown-black pigment in the eyes, hair and skin. Melanin causes skin to tan. The darker your skin, the more sun exposure is needed in order to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun.
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How To Incorporate Vitamin D2 Into Your Life
In addition to taking oils and other supplements, adding vitamin D2 into your daily routine is as easy as consuming fortified food such as yogurt and milk. Mushrooms also are naturally high in D2, and studies have shown that concentrated orange juice and cocoa-based foods contain substantial amounts.
Vitamin D Can Help Strengthen Muscles
Along with its bone-building abilities, vitamin D is also influential in strengthening muscles. Lack of vitamin D in the body can increase the risk of having weak muscles, which in turn increases the risk of falls, Lana Nasrallah, MPH, RD, clinical dietician at UNC Health, tells Health. This is especially important for the elderly. Vitamin D may help increase muscle strength thus preventing falls, which is a common problem that leads to substantial disability and death in older adults.
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Where To Buy The Cheapest Vitamin D Supplements
There are many different forms of vitamin D supplement available, from tablets and capsules to sprays, gummies and even teas.
Prices vary from less than 1p to more than 30p per dose depending on what format you pick.
Own-brand vitamin D tablets from pharmacies, discount stores and supermarkets are usually cheapest, and buying larger packs or multi-buy offers can also help keep costs down.
We’ve rounded up the cheapest prices we could find for vitamin D supplements in a ‘high strength’ 25mcg format, as this is one of the most commonly available high-street doses:
- Cheapest tablets: Asda High Strength Vitamin D tablets 25mcg, 180 pack – £1.15 , available from Asda.
- Cheapest spray: VitSpritz Vitamin D3 Oral Spray orange flavour 25mcg, 30ml bottle – £9.95 , available from Sainsburys, or Boots Vitamin D 25mcg peppermint spray, £6 for 15ml . Available from Boots.
- Cheapest gummy vitamins: Boots Vitamin D gummies, blackcurrant flavour 25mcg, 30 pack – £2 on offer – currently half-price but otherwise often on 3 for 2, available from Boots. Also consider: Aldi Vitawell Vitamin D gummies, blackcurrant flavour 25mcg, 30 pack– £2.29 , available from Aldi.
Prices correct as of 26 November 2021. Price per dose rounded up to nearest pence.
How Often Do You Need To Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked
Doctors do not usually order routine checks of vitamin D levels, but they might need to check your levels if you have certain medical conditions or risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Sometimes vitamin D levels can be checked as a cause of symptoms such as long-lasting body aches, a history of falls or bone fractures without significant trauma.
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How Does Sunlight Give Us Vitamin D
When we get sunlight on our skin, our body produces a substance called cholecalciferol.
This is then turned into calcidiol and then calcitriol by the liver and kidneys.
Calcitriol is what your Doctor would measure to assess your Vitamin D levels.
There are three ways to get enough Vitamin D:
During sunny months, your body might make excess calcidiol. But it will not go to waste. Any extra will be stored in your body fat as a kind of back up for those grey winter days.
Experts think that just 10 minutes of sunlight on your skin is enough to avoid Vitamin D deficiency. So get outside when you can!
Vitamin D Recommended Daily Intake
The recommended dose for vitamin D varies by age. Experts recommend a daily dose of:
400 IU for infants under 12 months
600 IU for people between ages 1 and 70
800 IU for people who are 71 years and older
As you can see, these doses are far less than the 50,000 IU concentrated supplements often recommended for people with low levels of vitamin D.
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Synthesis In The Skin
Vitamin D3 is produced photochemically from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin of most vertebrate animals, including humans. The precursor of vitamin D3, 7-dehydrocholesterol is produced in relatively large quantities. 7-Dehydrocholesterol reacts with UVB light at wavelengths of 290â315 nm. These wavelengths are present in sunlight, as well as in the light emitted by the UV lamps in tanning beds . Exposure to light through windows is insufficient because glass almost completely blocks UVB light.
Adequate amounts of vitamin D can be produced with moderate sun exposure to the face, arms and legs , averaging 5â30 minutes twice per week, or approximately 25% of the time for minimal sunburn. The darker the skin, and the weaker the sunlight, the more minutes of exposure are needed. Vitamin-D overdose is impossible from UV exposure: the skin reaches an equilibrium where the vitamin degrades as fast as it is created.
The skin consists of two primary layers: the inner layer called the dermis, and the outer, thinner epidermis. Vitamin D is produced in the keratinocytes of two innermost strata of the epidermis, the stratum basale and stratum spinosum, which also are able to produce calcitriol and express the VDR.
Gummies Vs Sprays Vs Tablets: What’s The Best Way To Get Your Daily Dose
Vitamin sprays and gummies have gained popularity in recent years as they can be more palatable and convenient, especially if you struggle with swallowing pills.
They tend to be more expensive, which can really add up when you’re taking daily supplements for a number of months.
If you opt for the cheapest tablets we’ve found, taking a daily supplement from October to March will cost you just £1.15, whereas with the cheapest gummy it would be around £12 total. Opting for big brand formulations will be even pricier.
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Can Help Prevent And Treat Anemia
Anemia is caused by several factors, including decreased red cell production, the inability to carry oxygen to the blood and blood loss. Is riboflavin good or bad for you if you suffer from anemia? Vitamin B2 is involved in all of these functions and helps prevent and treat cases of anemia.
Vitamin B2 is required for steroid hormone synthesis and red blood cell production. It also helps the transportation of oxygen to the cells and helps to mobilize iron. When people experience riboflavin deficiency without enough vitamin B2 present in their diets, they become more at risk for developing anemia and sickle cell anemia.
Low levels of vitamin B2 are correlated with both of these conditions that involve an underutilization of oxygen and problems with red blood cell production. These conditions can result in fatigue, shortness of breath, inability to exercise and more.
Research suggests that vitamin B2 is also effective in helping lower high amounts of homocysteine in the blood. This condition occurs when someone is unable to convert the chemical homocysteine present in blood into amino acids for the body to use. Supplementing with vitamin B2 has been shown to help correct this condition and balance homocysteine levels.
What Causes Vitamin D2 Deficiency
Different clinical risk factors can cause vitamin D2 deficiency. Inadequate intake from a plant-rich diet is one probable cause.
However, malabsorption due to aging and certain medical conditions, such as pancreatitis, short bowel syndrome, and others, can also be a primary source of concern.
Certain medications can interfere in the absorption of and decreased vitamin D2 levels, as well. Included here are those currently taking antiepileptic drugs.
Finally, beyond all those probable causes, evidence suggests that lack of sun exposure is really what causes vitamin D2 deficiency.
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Is Vitamin D3 Better Than Vitamin D2
Studies show that Vitamin D3 is far more important for our health than Vitamin D2. So either choose a Vitamin D3 supplement, or one which contains optimal levels of both forms. Vitamin D2 on its own is not enough.
Experts used to think that vitamins D2 and D3 were of equal importance for human health. But this was based on outdated studies of rickets in children. These days, we know lots more about Vitamin D. And it is clear that D3 is far more important and more effective for our health and wellbeing.
We need to look at how the body absorbs Vitamin D to understand why Vitamin D3 is more important. There are lots of biological processes involved. A specific enzyme in the liver helps Vitamin D3 metabolise into the bioactive form of Vitamin D. This process takes much longer with Vitamin D2.
What Happens During A Vitamin D Test
A vitamin D test is a blood test. During a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
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Vitamin D2 Vs D: Whats The Difference
Vitamin D is more than just one vitamin. Its a family of nutrients that shares similarities in chemical structure.
In your diet, the most commonly found members are vitamin D2 and D3. While both types help you meet your vitamin D requirements, they differ in a few important ways.
Research even suggests that vitamin D2 is less effective than vitamin D3 at raising blood levels of vitamin D.
This article sums up the main differences between vitamin D2 and D3.
Can I Take Vitamin D2 If Im Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Too much vitamin D could harm an unborn baby, and your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while taking ergocalciferol.
Ergocalciferol can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
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What Does A Vitamin D Rash Look Like
What does a vitamin d rash look likeIn some cases, an allergic reaction to vitamin D can cause hives or itchy rashes to develop on the skin, as well as redness and inflammation. This type of allergy may also contribute to the development of eczema, a chronic skin condition marked by dry areas of skin that can appear scaly or leather-like.
What Does Your Diet Have To Do With Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D doesnt occur naturally in many foods. Thats why certain foods have added vitamin D. In fact, newer food nutrition labels show the amount of vitamin D contained in a particular food item.
It may be difficult, especially for vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant, to get enough vitamin D from their diets, which is why some people may choose to take supplements. It is always important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. The vitamin content of various foods is shown in the following table.
Vitamin D content of various foods
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||6|
It is important to check product labels, as the amount of added vitamin D varies when it is artificially added to products such as orange juice, yogurt and margarine.
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Which Drugs Or Supplements Interact With Vitamin D
Vitamin D should be used with caution with mineral oil because mineral oil slows down the absorption of Vitamin D and reduces its therapeutic benefits.
What Does Vitamin D Do
Vitamin D is one of several different nutrients that the human body needs to support the skeletal system. Many bone diseases can be treated and prevented by maintaining the recommended vitamin D blood levels.
Vitamin D is also critical for keeping your blood vessels healthy, which can prevent people from developing high blood pressure. Some people suffering from other diseases related to the heart, bones, and skin also benefit from increased vitamin D consumption.
WebMD credits vitamin D for its role in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and vitiligo. Vitamin D supplements and injections are also being tested as a possible treatment for other blood and skin related diseases.
While vitamin D is important to the bones, it also works in conjunction with other vitamins to keep the human body functioning normally. Being deficient in vitamin D may make it more difficult for your body to absorb and produce other necessary nutrients.
For those looking to incorporate diet and exercise into their daily routine, its beneficial to have a plan before proceeding. Go PRO today for access to tailored workout plans, training logs, certified personal trainers, and more.
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How Can I Determine The Normal Range Of Vitamin D2
Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women’s…
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- There are no medical tests available that will tell you solely what your vitamin D2 levels are.
- Blood testing for vitamin D takes your levels of both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 into account.
- If you do not have enough vitamin D in your body it is impossible for you to have a normal vitamin D2 range.
There are no medical tests available that will tell you solely what your vitamin D2 levels are.