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Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3

Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3

Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Both forms can treat and prevent vitamin D deficiencies; D3 has proven more efficient at doing this due to better absorption by the body, systemization through sunlight exposure, etc.

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble nutrient necessary for Maintaining strong teeth, Bones and Muscles. Vitamin D can only be manufactured by our bodies when exposed to sunlight; UVB rays activate skin cells to produce Vitamin D3. Dietary sources also offer natural sources, including salmon, mackerel, and tuna as well as fortified cereals milk and orange juice containing added Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D converts into an active form called calcitriol once inside of our bodies, where it regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption through our digestive systems – this promotes bone health while helping prevent osteoporosis.

A lack of Vitamin D intake has been associated with health conditions like rickets in infants as well as osteomalacia among adults – thus it’s imperative that adults get sufficient amounts of this vital nutrient! Its availability should therefore be ensured as part of an optimum approach to¬† well being and well-being.

D2 (Ergocalciferol)

Vitamin D2, also Referred to as Ergocalciferol, is produced naturally by Plants. You can find it in certain mushrooms and fungi; It’s often fortified into food products and supplements.

Vitamin D2 has a lower potency compared to Vitamin D3, Meaning higher doses will need to be consumed to reach Similar levels in the circulation in your body. Its stability may also decrease significantly with exposure to heat, oxygen or light; making its usage unadvisable and potentially hazardous for health purposes.

Figure 01: D2

Vitamin D2 in our bodies is converted to its active form (calcitriol) through chemical processes occurring in both kidneys and liver, inducing various chemical reactions which regulate calcium/phosphorus balance within our intestinal system as well as promote bone mineralization.

Studies indicate that Vitamin D2 may not be as effective at treating and preventing vitamin D deficiency than its more potency cousin, Vitamin D3. According to these research findings, supplementing with more Vitamin D3 could raise levels and support bone health more efficiently; supplementation therefore often recommended.

D3 (Cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D3, also Referred to as Cholecalciferol, is produced naturally through exposure to UVB radiation on skin surfaces and then stored. Dietary sources including egg yolks and fatty fish can provide sources of Vitamin D3, with added supplements being another common source.

Figure 02: D3

Vitamin D3 is considered the biologically most active form of Vitamin D. It’s more effective at raising levels in blood and supporting bone strength, plus more stable than its predecessor (Vitamin D2) due to heat, oxygen or light degradation.

Vitamin D3 in our bodies is converted to its active form (calcitriol) through chemical processes occurring in both kidneys and liver, thus helping regulate calcium and phosphorus intake into our intestinal tract and promoting bone mineralization.

Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3: What Is Their Difference?

Vitamin D2 differs from its Vitamin D3 counterpart in various ways:

  • Chemical Structure and Composition: Both Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 contain double bonds on their side chains; while one features a ring structure to create double bonds. Their distinct chemical structures could impact their stability, potency, and effectiveness in different situations.
  • Sources and availability: Vitamin D2 can be found in plants like mushrooms; while animal sources include fatty fish, egg yolks and liver. Fortified foods and supplements may also provide Vitamin D3.
  • Absorption and Metabolism: Vitamin D2 may require greater effort in terms of energy required to convert it to its active form (calcitriol). Therefore, more dosage may be required than that found with Vitamin D3, in order to reach similar blood levels of Vitamin D3 than would exist otherwise.
  • Daily Doses and Dosages of Vitamin D3: Due to its higher potency, Vitamin D3 dosage recommendations vary based on age and gender considerations. As such, its daily dosage recommendations typically remain lower for Vitamin D3.
  • Safety and Side Effects: Both Vitamin D2 (and D3) tend to be well tolerated at their recommended dosage.

Overconsuming vitamin D may result in unpleasant side effects, including

Nausea, Vomiting, Muscle Weakness and Confusion can also occur; you can learn more here about that as well.

You could experience Pain (Loss of Appetite), Dehydration, Extreme Thirst and Urination along with Kidney Stones are symptoms associated with Vitamin D deficiency and should also be addressed accordingly.

Most individuals do not exhibit symptoms; some people may display subtler indications that aren’t immediately obvious; Prolonged and severe deficiencies could produce multiple manifestations that manifest as symptoms. Fatigue, bone pain, weakness, and muscle twitches impede wound healing; bone loss increases the risk of infection and increases fatigue levels.

Following are a few strategies for lowering risk:

Obtain the Required Amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin D deficiency affects an estimated 40% of Americans and 1 billion people globally,10 with those aged over 60, those who reside in areas receiving little sunlight, people with darker skin pigmentation and infants breastfeeding being at greater risk.

Individuals living with certain medical conditions or who occupy areas that receive little sunshine are among those most at risk.

Why do doctors prefer prescribing Vitamin D2 over Vitamin D3?

When filling a prescription from your physician for vitamin D2, Ergocalciferol will usually be the option prescribed. Although vitamin D3 has proven more potency, you might wonder why doctors prefer Ergocalciferol instead.

Your doctor typically will prescribe 50,000 units of vitamin D2, as this vitamin has many therapeutic applications such as treating parathyroid and calcium disorders and is especially popular among people living with chronic kidney disease.

what Steps can be taken to obtain sufficient vitamin D?

  • Get outdoors and soak up some sun!
  • Your skin can produce vitamin D3 from being exposed to direct sunlight; to prevent skin damage it’s essential that the exposure be balanced with other sources.
  • Eat Healthier Foods: Eating foods rich in Vitamin D3, such as liver, egg yolks and fatty fish is helpful.
  • Orange Juice, Milk & Cereals provide great sources of Vitamin D3.
  • Supplement with Vitamin D3 : With numerous vitamin D3 products readily available on the market today, meeting daily recommended amounts is made easier than ever.

Vitamin D2 vs. D3: Which Is better?

  • Vitamins D2 and D3 both serve Similar roles within the body, Including treating or preventing vitamin D deficiency. Of the two vitamin options, Vitamin D3 proves more successful at raising Vitamin D levels and improving bone health than its predecessor Ergocalciferol.
  • Vitamin D3 is more readily absorbed and utilized by the body than Vitamin D2, making it easier for it to reach desired blood levels of Vitamin D circulating than higher dosages of D2. Plus, its potency means lower doses are necessary in order to attain similar effects as higher dosages.
  • Vitamin D3 is produced naturally through sun exposure. Studies suggest this form is more efficient at increasing levels and improving bone health than taking vitamin D2 through food sources.
  • Vitamin D3 may help individuals suffering from osteoporosis or at risk of vitamin D deficiencies to supplement their intake and keep levels optimally.


Vitamin D is an indispensable nutrient, playing an integral part in bone and immune health. Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Both forms can treat and prevent vitamin D deficiencies; D3 has proven more efficient at doing this due to better absorption by the body, systemization through sunlight exposure, etc.

When supplementing, consult with a healthcare provider as to their daily recommendation; either form can be supplemented.

By kotha