Vitamin D2 & D3 What’s the Difference?

There are actually 2 types of D Vitamin and when it comes to a deficiency D2 is not usually the problem, you are more than likely getting enough D2 because it is found in a wide variety of plant based foods and is wide sold over the counter as ‘just’ Vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 on the other hand is a lot harder to source and is far more superior, even though we are able to produce D3 naturally with the aid of sunlight and through diet most people will find they have some level of deficiency of this vital D vitamin.

Why is Vitamin D3 Deficiency So Common?

Many people, including myself have a hard time absorbing vitamin D3 from food leading to a deficiency that I make sure to supplement every day.

At risk groups include those who live in colder climates, have darker skin tones, already have pre-existing or underlying health conditions, the elderly along with vegetarians and vegans because D3 can only be sourced via animal products.

If you fall into the latter category you will seriously struggle to get enough D3 from diet alone so may want to consider supplementing your diet, in all the above cases for that matter.

Why is Vitamin D3 So Important?

Vitamin D3 is key to having a powerful immune system, if left unchecked over time any shortfall will have a detrimental impact on skeletal and overall bone strength which is why any deficiency tends to effect most people later on in life.

Conditions that are caused from a deficiency in D3 include rickets, usually affecting infants and children and is easily recognized by mis- shaped or “bowed legs”.

later in life chronic conditions such as osteomalacia, an adult form of rickets can develop, which causes bone and muscle pain, also a condition called osteoporosis, causing bone thinning accompanied by loss of bone density.

Vitamin D2 & D3 the Science

Both the D vitamins are fat-soluble meaning that they are both stored in the body’s fat deposits for later use, they have a major role in helping your body absorb 2 of the 12 life sustaining mineral salts your body also needs, calcium and phosphorus.

Low levels of vitamin D3 once converted and released into your blood stream makes it near impossible for you to absorb all the calcium and phosphorous you need for an effective and efficient immune system.

Vitamin supplements definitely have a place at the table.
Vitamin supplements definitely have a place at the table.

Vitamin D3 is vital to the development and maintenance of your immune system

keeping inflammation under control and your nervous system working properly.

D3 plays a major role in cell growth and regeneration, bone and teeth development, muscle, skin, hair and nails along with brain tissue and sharper cognitive function.

Both D vitamins are processed in the body by your liver and kidneys and studies have shown that taking vitamin D3 supplements lead to a much higher vitamin D stores in your body.

Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) A Closer Look

Vitamin D2 is easily obtained from plant sources, as well as fortified foods, most people will find they are not deficient in this particular D vitamin.

Best Food Source

  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • fortified soy, almond and rice milk
  • fortified cereals
  • orange juice.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol-alfa-calciol) A Closer Look

Vitamin D3 unlike D2 can be produced naturally by your body with the aid of the Suns ultra violet rays, not having access to sunshine all year round or not spending enough time out in it means you will already have a significant shortfall.

Vitamin D3 helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus which strengthens and aids the development of teeth and bones.

Best Food Source

The only plant source that is able to produce Vitamin D3 are mushrooms and only if they have been grown under UV lights to mimic those of the Sun.

  • Fatty fish such a mackerel, sardines, tuna
  • egg yolk
  • cheese
  • pork chops
  • cod liver oil
  • fortified cereals
  • fortified margarine
  • yogurts

All are fantastic sources of vitamin D3.

Best Vitamin D3 Rich Foods

Clinical studies have shown that vitamin D3 is the more ‘superior’ D vitamin of the 2 proving that it is twice as effective in all its roles and processes than vitamin D2.

For more on info on vitamin D3 please see:

Does Lack of Sun Effect The Immune System?

How Does the Sun Help Make Vitamin D3?

Hope you find these links informative and useful,so until next time,

Stay Save, Stay Healthy, Stay Strong

About Mitch founder of Immune System Explained in Bermuda

Mitch X:-).

*Please note the information contained in this post is intended for the purpose of general information and should not be used as a substitute for the individual expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals.