Difference between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3
The significance of #vitamin D in the body cannot be questioned. Insufficient quantities of the vitamin leave you at an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, depression, cancer, and autoimmune disease.
Also, vitamin D controls dietary calcium. So, no matter how much calcium you eat, you need the vitamin if you’re to add strength to your bones.As a result, we are all encouraged to always maintain a healthy level of D-vitamin in the body.
Consequently, in the winter, when there isn’t plenty of sunshine, many of us opt to get vitamin D supplements over the counter. When you buy your supplement, check the label and you’ll see either Vitamin D-3 or Vitamin D-2 listed as the main ingredient.
Vitamin D-2, also known as ergocalciferol is a synthetic form of vitamin D included in a number of supplements.
It is derived mostly from fungus and yeast and was first produced by exposing foods to UV light. It is typically made by radiating the compound ergosterol derived from ergot.
Vitamin D-3, also known as cholecalciferol, remains the more popular of the two, especially among nutrition and health experts. It is produced from lanolin obtained from sheep’s wool.
Most experts are urging consumers to choose D-3 over of D-2 supplements. There are several reasons for this:
- D3 is better at raising effective D-vitamin levels in the body
Most studies have reported that D3 is more biologically active than D2, meaning that D3 raises effective vitamin D levels in the body more compared to D2. An extensive analysis of the two in 2012 concluded that in large single doses, D3 was better at raising levels of the vitamin in the body. In a subsequent study, it was found that even in single daily doses, D3 is the more effective of the two.
An explanation to these findings could be based on two facts; 1.) That vitamin D2 binds less tightly to vitamin D receptors found in the body. This means that the vitamin cannot be circulated in the body as effectively as D3, and 2) that D3 is more readily converted to the active form of vitamin D i.e. 1, 25(OH0) D.
- D3 lasts longer in the body
And it’s not just being active, D3 is also found to last longer after being broken down. Different researches have shown that soon after the vitamins are broken down, the active form of D2 i.e. 1, 25(OH) D2 gets partially deactivated in the kidney while the active form of D3 i.e. 1, 25(OH) D3 remains fully active.
- D3 more stable on the shelf
Vitamin D3 is also more stable on the shelf compared to D2. It is more likely to remain active for longer when exposed to different levels of temperature and humidity during storage. This could be the reason why the actual quantities of vitamin D2 in supplements are sometimes lower than what the label says.
- D3 is less toxic
Different research papers also show that D3 is considered less toxic compared to D2.
For a long time, D3 was a strictly non-vegan supplement so all vegans would be advised to use D2. The good news is that vegan D3 is now available commercially allowing everyone to utilise the more potent form of the vitamin, in a plant-based form if your preferences require it.