Supplemental Vitamin D Comes In Two Forms:
1. Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2)
2. Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)
They have long been regarded as equivalent and interchangeable+ especially since a recognized vitamin D expert, Dr. Michael Hollick, recoomended it. But that notion was based on studies of rickets prevention in infants conducted several decades ago. Today, we know a lot more about vitamin D, and the featured study offers compelling support for the recommendation to take vitamin D3 if you need to take an oral supplement—which is the same type of D vitamin created in your body when you expose your skin to sunlight.
According to the latest research, D3 is approximately 87 percent more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2. Regardless of which form you use, your body must convert it into a more active form, and vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind poorly with proteins, further hampering its effectiveness.
Unfortunately, vitamin D2—which is a synthetic version made by irradiating fungus and plant matter—is the form of vitamin D most often prescribed by doctors in the U.S. Hopefully this will change sooner rather than later.
As stated by Dr. Cannell in the featured article:
“While there may be explanations for D3’s superiority other than improved efficacy, for the time being, these papers send doctors a message: use D3, not D2.”
The Incredible Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Optimizing your vitamin D levels may be one of the most important steps you can take in support of your long-term health. There’s overwhelming evidence that vitamin D is a key player in your overall health. This is understandable when you consider that it is not “just” a vitamin; it’s actually a neuroregulatory steroidal hormone that influences nearly 3,000 different genes in your body. Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your bones.
Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections, as well as chronic inflammation. It produces over 200 antimicrobial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic. This is one of the explanations for why it can be so effective against colds and influenza.
That said, keeping a close eye on your vitamin D levels is a wise move for most. The widespread vitamin D deficiency seen today is now thought to fuel an astonishingly diverse array of common chronic diseases, including: Cancer, Hypertension, Heart disease, Autism, Obesity, Rheumatoid arthritis , Diabetes 1 and 2, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Cold & Flu, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tuberculosis, Signs of aging Dementia, Eczema & Psoriasis, Muscle pain, Cavities, Osteoporosis, Macular degeneration, Pre eclampsia, Seizures, Infertility, Asthma, Cystic fibrosis, Migraines, Depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Schizophrenia.