Vitamin D3 & D2, What’s The Difference?

ds-the-sunshine-vitamin

There are 2 types of D vitamins, D2 and D3.

You’ll find that you are more than likely getting enough Vitamin D2 because it is found in a wide variety of plant-based foods so this D vitamin is not usually the problem.

On the other hand, Vitamin D3 is a lot harder to source and has many more beneficial effects than  Vitamin D2, it is much harder to get from our diet or make it naturally in the body.

Due to this, most people will find they have some level of Vitamin D3 deficiency, especially those who live in colder climates or have darker shades of skin.

Below I have highlighted the important bits for you, just in case your schedule is tight.

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Why is Vitamin D3 Deficiency So Common?

Many people, including myself, are unable to absorb vitamin D3 from food leading to a deficiency.

vitamin-d3At-risk groups include those who live in colder climates or have darker skin tones.

The elderly, and those that have pre-existing or underlying health conditions.

Vegetarians and vegans because vitamin 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.

Vitamin D Deficiency 

A vitamin D3 deficiency, if left unchecked over time, will have a detrimental impact on your immune system and overall physical and mental well-being.

Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that vitamin D plays various roles in regulating optimal brain health, both during brain development and the nervous system throughout our lives.

Recent research suggests that vitamin D3 is also associated with an increased risk of various types of common cancers, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, stroke, infectious diseases, and psychiatric illness.

Vitamin D3 & Chronic Bone Disease

Vitamin D3 can help alleviate inflammation of the joints

Rickets usually only affects infants and children. This condition is easily recognized by their misshaped or “bowed legs”.

Osteomalacia’s condition is the adult form of Rickets that can develop, causing bone and muscle pain.

Osteoporosis is also a chronic bone disease caused by a lack of vitamin D3 over a very long time.

It results in bone thinning accompanied by bone density loss, making bones fragile that fracture and break easily. This is why any level of vitamin D3 deficiency in early life will affect most people later on in life.

Vitamin D2 & D3 Their Roles

Both the D vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning that they are stored in the body’s fat deposits for later use.

Vitamin D3 is vital to the development and maintenance of your immune system. It assists in keeping inflammation under control and your nervous system working properly.

It also plays a major role in cell growth and regeneration, bone and teeth development, muscle, skin, hair, and nails.

Vitamin D3 helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, strengthening and helping the development of teeth and bones.

Any deficiency once converted and released into your bloodstream makes it near impossible for you to absorb all the calcium and phosphorous your body needs.

Both of the D vitamins are processed in the body by your liver and kidneys. Studies have shown that taking Vitamin D3 Supplements lead to much higher vitamin D stores in your body.

See my Amazon Top Pick for Vitamin D3.

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 vitamin D2.

Best Food Source

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

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

Unlike vitamin D2, vitamin D3 is produced naturally by your body with the help of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Known as the “Sunshine Vitamin”, it is, in fact, a hormone because it is produced naturally by your body.

Not having access to sunshine all year round or not spending enough time out in it means you will already have a significant shortfall.

A vitamin D3 deficiency, if left unchecked over time, will have a detrimental impact on your body and your immune system.

Best Food Source

best-food-source-vitamin-d3

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

  • fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, tuna
  • egg yolk
  • cheese
  • pork chops
  • cod liver oil
  • fortified cereals
  • fortified margarine
  • yoghurts

These are all fantastic sources of vitamin D3.

I’m sure You Will Agree

Ensuring you are getting enough vitamin of D vitamins, especially D3, is extremely important.

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

Vitamin D3  contributes to the success of long-term, physical and mental health, making sure you are getting enough and the correct amount needed daily has to be a priority.

For more info on vitamin D3 see here >>>

Does A Lack of Sun Effect The Immune System?

How Does the Sun Help Make Vitamin D3?

*Please note the information in this post is intended for the purpose of general information only and should not be used as a substitute for the individual expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals & that I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

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