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What Is Difference Between Vitamin D2 And D3

How Many Minutes Of Sun Do You Need For Vitamin D

The 8 Differences Between Vitamins D3 and D2: (by Abazar Habibinia, MD):

Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D. To maintain healthy blood levels, aim to get 1030 minutes of midday sunlight, several times per week. People with darker skin may need a little more than this. Your exposure time should depend on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.

What Are The Sources Of Vitamin D3

Foods that are naturally high in vitamin D3 are derived from animal sources such as cod liver oil, trout, and salmon. Smaller amounts of D3 can be found in eggs, sardines, tuna, and beef liver.

Vitamin D3 is also produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B . Unlike vitamin D supplementation, you cannot overdose on Vitamin D3 produced by sunlight when the body has enough it simply produces less. Its important to remember adequate sun protection, though!

What Are The Signs Of Low Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin with some powerful benefits, but it can be hard to get enough from natural sources, especially if you spend a lot of time indoors. Even without considering the difference between D1 and D2 and D3, vitamin D deficiency is the most common form of malnutrition globally, though it is easily cured with supplements.

If you arent getting enough vitamin D in your diet or spending enough time in the sun, you could be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency without realizing it. For most people, the symptoms of vitamin D deficiencies are mild, but they can include:

  • Getting Sick a lot Vitamin D helps support your immune system, so a deficiency may cause you to get sick more often, especially over winter.
  • Feeling Tired Many studies have linked fatigue to low vitamin D levels .
  • Bone Pain Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium, so a shortage of vitamin D may cause a deficiency of calcium, compromising your bone health.
  • Depression Numerous studies have linked vitamin D deficiencies to depression, likely due to the reduced sunlight and increase in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder in winter.
  • Reduced Healing Studies suggest that vitamin D helps control inflammation, fight infection and boost healing, so slow healing may signify a vitamin D deficiency.

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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
Vitamin D2
Who typically uses the medication? Infants, children, adolescents, and adults Infants, children, adolescents, and adults

How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily

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Most healthy adults should strive to maintain an intake of 15mcg of vitamin D daily. In a tropical country, its estimated that two half-hour sessions of midday sun every week provides enough vitamin D. However, if you live in a more northerly or cloudy climate, you may want to consider upping your intake of vitamin D-rich foods, or taking a supplement.

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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.

Your Skin Produces Vitamin D3

Another significant difference between D1 and D2 and D3 is that your skin produces Vitamin D3 when exposed to sunlight, which is the primary source of vitamin D for many people. To be more specific, the ultraviolet B radiation in sunlight causes your skin to produce vitamin D3 from naturally occurring 7-dehydrocholesterol compounds in your skin.

In laymans terms, sunlight equals vitamin D, though many people dont get their recommended daily allowances this way because they spend too much time indoors or cover up when outside. If you struggle to get enough sun or are worried about your vitamin D levels during winter, you may need to boost your intake with manufactured supplements.

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What Is The Best Way To Absorb Vitamin D

Because vitamin d is a fat-based vitamin, taking your supplements with fat is the best way to improve absorption. All forms of vitamin D are fat-based, so forget about the difference between D1 and D2 and make sure to take your vitamin D supplements with a meal for the best results.

According to a study of 17 people, taking vitamin D with the largest meal of the day improved vitamin D blood levels by 50% over 2-3 months, much better than taking it on its own. However, you dont need to break your diet to have a fatty meal, as nuts, eggs, oily fish, and full-fat dairy products are all nutritious sources of fat that help boost your vitamin D absorption.

Is Vitamin D Or D3 More Effective

Vitamin D2 vs. D3: VERY DIFFERENT

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. Calcifediol is the precursor to calcitriol, the ultimate active metabolite of vitamins D and D3.

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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What Are The Sources Of Vitamin D2

Very few foods are high in vitamin D2 but there are some which are fortified to increase the levels including cereals, orange juice, cows milk, and plant milk. Its important to check the labels for vitamin D fortification as this varies from country to country and within brands.

Produce that has high exposure to sunlight such as mushrooms are naturally high in vitamin D2.

Effects On The Immune System

A recent study found that vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation had different effects on genes important for immune function. These findings are significant, as most previous research has failed to find much difference in the effect of supplementation with either vitamin D2 or D3.

Most of the research published to date has suggested that the main difference between vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation is the effect on circulating vitamin D levels in the bloodstream. Studies have repeatedly shown that vitamin D3 is superior at raising levels of vitamin D in the body. These findings were supported by a recent review of the evidence which found that vitamin D3 supplementation increased vitamin D levels in the body better than vitamin D2. But not all studies agree.

Very few studies support vitamin D2 supplementation being superior to vitamin D3. One trial showed that vitamin D2 was better at treating immune issues in patients who were on steroid therapy. However, other than increasing vitamin D levels in the body, there is not much evidence that vitamin D3 supplements are better than vitamin D2 supplements. One study found that vitamin D3 improved calcium levels more than vitamin D2. But we need more research to provide definitive answers.

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Warnings Of Vitamin D And D3

Vitamin D toxicity may occur with excessively high doses. Symptoms could include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, dehydration, fatigue, and confusion. Due to the fact that vitamin D is a fat-soluble drug, the effects of vitamin D therapy can last 2 months or more after therapy is discontinued. It is also important to know the vitamin D content of other supplements you may be taking, such as a daily multivitamin. You should not take high doses of vitamin D supplements without your doctors instruction.

Similarities Between Vitamin D And D3

Vitamin D2 vs D3 : What

Vitamin D and D3 are both ultimately metabolized to the active metabolite form, calcitriol. From calcitriol come the important end results of a healthy level of vitamin D in your body. Calcitriol promotes renal absorption of calcium, increases intestinal absorption of both calcium and phosphorus, and increased mobilization of calcium from bone to plasma. Calcitriol has even been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. Ultimately both vitamin D and D3 provide your body with the critical metabolite, calcitriol.

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Vitamin D2 Vs D: What’s The Difference

We all know a healthy lifestyle incorporates a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise, and plenty of vitamin D. During the spring, summer, and early autumn we should be able to get all the vitamin D we need from sunlight. Outside of these months, the NHS recommends taking supplements.

If youve recently shopped for vitamin D supplements you might have noticed that some products are labelled as containing vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. The reason for this is that there are two different varieties of vitamin D which come from different sources but work in very similar ways.

To learn more about the difference, and for some tips on topping up your vitamin D, read on.

Factors Affecting Serum 25ohd Levels

Dietary Intake

Available literature demonstrates that serum 25OHD levels increase in response to increased vitamin D intake, although overall it can be concluded that the relationship is non-linear rather than linear. Factors that may affect the relationship between vitamin D intake and serum 25OHD levels are not entirely clear, and the reliability of such measures may be less than desirable. Moreover, there remains debate over the equivalence of vitamins D2 and D3 in the diet , although it has been assumed that they are 25-hydroxylated at similar rates .

Three-dimensional scatter-plot of 4-week change in serum 25OHD concentration above baseline expressed as a function of both basic skin lightness and UVB dose rate. Surface is hyperboloid, plotting equation 1, and was fitted to data using least squares

A number of small studies have reported serum 25OHD levels to be consistently lower in persons with darker skin pigmentation, and data from suggest that serum 25OHD levels are highest in whites, lowest in non-Hispanic blacks, and intermediate in Hispanic groups . Overall, there is considerable evidence that darker skin pigmentation is associated with a smaller increase in serum 25OHD concentration for a given amount of exposure.

Confounders Affecting Serum 25OHD Concentrations

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Differences Between Vitamin D2 And Vitamin D3

The benefits of vitamin D3 are mentioned below

  • It strengthens muscles and bones and boosts immunity.
  • Vitamin D3 improves mood and lowers inflammation.
  • Cholecalciferol or vitamin D3 improves the functioning of the heart.

The aforementioned information provides details about the difference between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 and D3 are the most common dietary forms of vitamins. Eat plenty of vitamin-rich foods or spend some hours under the sun as these are some of the best sources of vitamin D. Furthermore, you should not consume excessive amounts of vitamin D2 and D3 supplements without a doctor’s prescription.

What Is Vitamin D1 D2 D3

Difference Between Vitamin D2,D3 & Alfacalcidol(One-Alpha)

In the early 1920s, a German researcher called Adolf Windaus isolated three forms of vitamin D, which he named Vitamin D1, D2, and D3. However, subsequent researchers discovered that what he called vitamin D1 was a mixture of compounds rather than a pure vitamin D product, so the term D1 is no longer used.

Subsequently, its rather hard to explain the difference between D1 and D2 since vitamin D1 technically doesnt exist. However, the other two forms D2 and D3 have been extensively researched, so its much easier to tell them apart.

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Where Do We Get Vitamin D

The main source of vitamin D is sunshine. It is produced by the body through sunlight on the skin. However, many people, especially those living in colder climates, are deficient and may require additional supplementation.

Through the winter months in the UK, many of us dont get adequate levels through sunlight exposure so supplementation may be required.

Vitamin D can also be obtained through diet, eating foods that have a high Vitamin D content such as:

  • Oily fish trout, salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel

Vitamin D3 Has Superior Bioactivity

There is also evidence that vitamin D3 is better than D2 when it comes to bioactivity, as it’s been shown to raise free 25D levels with greater efficacy. This “free” marker is an emerging status measure of vitamin D bioactivity, and it may be more sensitive than total 25D.

Next, vitamin D2 metabolites have weaker binding to the vitamin D binding protein, which binds the nutrient and carries it throughout the body to do its job.

And finally, vitamin D2 demonstrates reduced hydroxylation of vitamin D3 while also increasing the catabolism of 25D3 for excretion. These competitive mechanisms have been demonstrated with vitamin D2 supplementation at multiple doses , and the ultimate effect is reduced 25D3 levels. Talk about counterproductive.

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Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Vitamin D Vs D3

Vitamin D2 in prescription form is commonly covered by most commercial and Medicare insurance plans. The over-the-counter formulations are typically not covered by commercial or Medicare insurance plans. The price can vary greatly depending on dosage. The average cost of the 50,000 IU dose for 12 weeks of therapy is $54. With a coupon from SingleCare, this price drops to as low as $2.

Vitamin D3 is over-the-counter, and therefore is typically not covered by insurance plans. The price varies depending on dose. D3 can cost as much as $50 per one month supply, but if your doctor prescribes the medication you can get it for as low as $8 with a SingleCare discount coupon.


Drug Interactions Of Vitamin D Vs D3

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Vitamin D2 and D3 each are metabolized by the liver to 25D, and therefore the potential drug interactions are similar for both forms. Vitamin D may increase the serum levels of aluminum when taken with aluminum hydroxide, a common antacid, and therefore the combination should be avoided. Thiazide diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide, may increase the chance of vitamin D raising calcium levels in the blood to a dangerously high level. Patients on both thiazide diuretics and vitamin D supplementation should be monitored for this effect by their healthcare provider. Some drugs may decrease the absorption and effectiveness of your vitamin D supplement. Bile-acid sequestrants, such as cholestyramine, are an example of a drug which will impair vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D and cholestyramine should not be administered at the same time.

The following table may not be a complete list of drug interactions. Please consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for more information and a complete list of interactions.


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Vitamin D2 Supplements Might Be Lower Quality

Scientists have raised concerns that vitamin D2 supplements might be lower quality than D3 supplements.

In fact, studies suggest vitamin D2 is more sensitive to humidity and fluctuations in temperature. For this reason, vitamin D2 supplements may be more likely to degrade over time .

However, whether this is relevant to human health is unknown. Also, no studies have compared the stability of vitamin D2 and D3 dissolved in oil.

Until new research proves otherwise, you shouldnt worry about the quality of your vitamin D2 supplements. Simply make sure to store your supplements in a closed container, at room temperature, in a dry place and out of direct sunlight.

Summary Vitamin D2 supplements may be more likely to degrade during storage. However, its unknown whether the same applies to oil-based vitamin D2. More studies are needed to examine the relevance of this to human health.


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