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What You Should Know About Vitamin D2


Vitamin D is essential for maintaining good health. It plays many roles in the body. There are many forms of vitamin D. Recent research has shown that they may have different effects. What are the benefits of different forms of vitamin D?

Vitamin D was not discovered until the 20th century. This discovery was the catalyst for Adolf Windaus being awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1928.

Five molecules make up the vitamin D family. The two most important are vitamin D2 (the main) and vitamin D3. These molecules are also known by the names ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol. Both types of vitamin D are important for our health. However, the way we get them differs.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, regulates bone growth, and aids in immune function.

When exposed to sunlight, vitamin D is produced by your skin. If you live at a high altitude or spend most of your day indoors, then you will need to supplement your vitamin D intake.

The following are good sources of dietary protein: fatty fish, fish oil, egg yolks, butter, liver, and liver.

It may prove difficult to get enough vitamin D from your diet since there are few natural sources. It is common to not get enough vitamin D.

Many food manufacturers include it in their products, including milk, margarine, and breakfast cereals. Supplements are also very popular.

You can prevent deficiency symptoms by eating vitamin D-rich food, getting some sun, and taking supplements.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so it is best to take oil-based vitamins or eat food with fat ( source ).

Vitamin A comes in two forms:

  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).

What Is Vitamin D2? (Ergocalciferol).

Ergocalciferol can be called vitamin D2. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption.

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition that causes decreased functioning of the parathyroid glands. Ergocalciferol can be used to treat it.

Ergocalciferol can also be used to treat rickets, which is a softening of bones due to vitamin-D deficiency or low levels of phosphate.

You can also use ergocalciferol for purposes other than those listed in the medication guide.

What Is Vitamin D2 Compared To Vitamin D3, And How Is It Different?

Supplements contain two types of vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, is also called vitamin D2.
  • Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is also called vitamin D3.

Both molecules are similar and can be easily absorbed by your body.

These two forms of vitamin D were once thought to be equivalents and interchangeable. We now know that this is not the case. The evidence shows that D2 is less effective in raising vitamin D levels and has a shorter time of action than D3. While both can be used to supplement vitamin D2, D3 appears slightly better than its D2 counterpart.

D3 appears to be a better choice for supplementation. You might wonder why providers recommend vitamin D2 instead. We’ll be looking at the different forms of vitamin D2 next.

Vitamin D2 Comes From Plants. Vitamin D3 Comes From Animals.

The food source of each form of vitamin D will determine how they differ.

Vitamin D3 can only be found in animal-sourced food, while vitamin D2 is mainly found in plant sources and fortified foods.

Vitamin D3 Sources

  • Oily fish and fish oil
  • Liver
  • Egg yolk
  • Butter
  • Supplements for the diet

Vitamin D2 Sources

  • Mushrooms grown in ultraviolet light
  • Fortified foods
  • Supplements for the diet

Vitamin D2 is the most commonly used form of vitamin D2 in fortified foods, as it’s less expensive to produce.

Vitamin D3 Is Made In Your Skin

When exposed to sunlight, vitamin D3 is made by the skin.

In particular, UVB (UVB) radiation from the sun triggers the formation of vitamin D3 from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin ( source).

Similar processes occur in plants and mushrooms. UVB light causes vitamin D2 to form from ergosterol. This compound is found in plant oils ( source).

You may be getting enough vitamin D if you spend your time outdoors in light clothing and without sunscreen.

Indians need half an hour of sunlight twice per week ( source).

Keep in mind, however, that the exposure time is not applicable to countries further from the Equator. These countries may require more time to attain the same results.

However, you should be cautious not to spend too long in the sun without sunscreen. This is particularly important for those with light skin tones. Sunburns can lead to skin cancer ( source).

Vitamin D3 in the skin cannot be taken in excess, unlike dietary vitamin D. Your skin will produce less vitamin D3 if your body has sufficient.

Many people don’t get enough sun. Many people either live indoors or in countries that don’t receive much sunlight during winter. This is a problem that you should address.

How To Use Vitamin D2

As directed, vitamin D should be taken by mouth. Vitamin D is best taken after eating. However, it can be taken with or without food. Alfacalcidol should be taken with food. Follow the instructions on the package. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

This medication has been prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions. The dosage you take will depend on your medical condition, sun exposure, diet, age, and response to treatment.

Use a spoon or special measuring device to measure the liquid medication. You may not receive the right dose if you use a household spoon.

Take the chewable tablet or wafers slowly before swallowing. Avoid swallowing whole wafers.

Before you take the tablets that dissolve quickly, be sure to dry your hands. Each dose should be placed on the tongue. Allow it to dissolve completely before you swallow it with saliva. This medication can be taken with or without water.

Certain medications (bile acid sequestrants such as cholestyramine/colestipol, mineral oil, orlistat) can decrease the absorption of vitamin D. Take your doses of these medications as far as possible from your doses of vitamin D (at least 2 hours apart, longer if possible). If you take other medications, it may be easier to take vitamin D at night. Ask your pharmacist or doctor how long to wait between doses. They can also help you find a schedule that works with your other medications.

To get the best benefit, you should take this medication on a regular basis. If you take this medication once daily, it is important to remember when it is taken. Even if you only take this medication once a week, remember to take it the same day each week. You might consider marking your calendar with a reminder.

Your doctor may have recommended you to follow a specific diet, such as one high in calcium. This will ensure that you get the best possible medication and prevent any side effects. Your doctor may have you stop taking any supplements/vitamins.

Get medical attention immediately if you suspect you might have a serious medical condition.

The Bottom Line

Vitamin D is not one compound but a group of related nutrients. Vitamins D2 and D3 are the most commonly used dietary forms.

D3 is found in animal-derived fats, such as egg yolk and fish oil. It is also produced by the skin in response to ultraviolet light or sunlight. Vitamin D2 is derived from plants.

Vitamin D3 seems to be more effective in increasing vitamin D levels. Scientists debate whether this is relevant to human health.

Vitamin D is essential for good health. You should eat a lot of vitamin D-rich foods and spend time outdoors. Vitamin D3 is the best supplement you can take.


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