If you didn’t know it by now, there is a huge difference between vitamins D2 and D3. Some people are not even aware there are two types of Vitamin D; they only find it when they get a medical prescription but the doctor failed to mention the type. Then, they find themselves at the pharmacy wondering whether it is D2 or D3 that they need.
Vitamin D-D3 and D2
There is no doubt about it, Vitamin D is essential to our health, performance and well-being. Without it, we become sluggish, depressed, inefficient, frail, and sick. Even, our bones can lose their strength. Can you then use any of the two types when you have a deficiency? Research says no.
D3 vs D2
D3 is known as cholecalciferol and is easily available as an over-the-counter supplement. It acts for a longer while than D2 and is more potent. D3 is usually prescribed to a very wide range of individuals, for various reasons. It’s a supplement used by athletes, as well as by people going through depression or by those who don’t get enough sunlight. Also, if your food lacks in Vitamin D, you can safely take this form. It is the more bioavailable one and supplementing doesn’t carry risks. This is why it’s so widely available because it can be used by anyone and poses no threat.
D2 or ergocalciferol has a reduced potency. In spite of that, you can only buy it with a prescription! This is because of its use – it’s not meant to be consumed as a regular vitamin supplement. D2 does not have the same role as Vitamin D3. It is recommended for treating hypoparathyroidism, osteomalacia, and rickets, for example. If your blood tests showed a Vitamin D deficit, however, it’s very likely that you’re going to need this type. Make sure your doctor mentions it to you; if that did not happen, then ask. D2 isn’t the best in every case out there. There is not enough evidence to prove its role in preventing bone fractures. Some go as far as saying that D2 isn’t suitable for supplementation. Moreover, not knowing the right dosage can easily lead to toxicity. There are serious risks associated with the D2 form. The best way is to have a professional carefully monitor the doses and adjust these according to the patient’s body, health and to how they respond.
How to get Vitamin D?
An important aspect with vitamin D2 and vitamin D is that, in supplement form, their strength, potency, and absorption rate can vary. Plus, the human body metabolizes the two in very different ways. It is best to have Vitamin D naturally, either from sun exposure (20 to 30 minutes each day, depending on your skin color) or from food, because that way you’re not risking an overdose. Health authorities claim that the ideal dosage is of 600 units of Vitamin D per day (older people can have more). It is always best obtained from food and from exposure to sunlight, before supplementation.
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