Vitamin D2 vs. Vitamin D3: Which One is Better?

One of the most talked about vitamins over the last 10 years or so is vitamin D. Such cannot be avoided since the fact that this nutrient is involved in strengthening the bones, improving the immune system and lifting the mood has been established. Are you aware that there are actually two forms of vitamin D available?

If you like to know the differences between the two types of vitamin D, continue reading. Share this article to have your family members and friends introduced to them, too!

Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 — these are the forms that vitamin D comes in. While both of them share the same roles and provide the same health benefits, they differ in certain things such as their sources and also their efficiency in being absorbed so that they may be utilized by the body successfully.

Let’s get to know these two one after the other:

Vitamin D2

Also sometimes referred to as ergocalciferol, vitamin D2 can be obtained from certain types of plants that are able to produce the nutrient in response to the UV radiation given off by the sun.

Mushrooms are some of the best food sources of vitamin D2. Actually, there are so many mushroom producers all over the planet that deliberately expose their mushrooms to UV light in order to boost their vitamin D2 content. Other food sources of vitamin D are fortified, which means that their manufacturers simply add some vitamin D2 to them.

Unfortunately, scientists say that vitamin D2 is not absorbed and utilized by the body that efficiently. It’s still beneficial to humans, but the fact remains that it is not regarded as the best form of vitamin D.

Vitamin D3

According to scientists, a much better form of vitamin D is vitamin D3. Other than being absorbed and used by the body very well, vitamin D3 is also known to stay in the system for a long time.

One of the best sources of vitamin D3 is the sun. When sunlight hits your skin, some of the cholesterol in your body is transformed into vitamin D3. There are also a few food sources of vitamin D3, although they contain very small amounts of it only. Some good examples include milk, cheese, egg yolk and beef liver.

There are food products, too, that are fortified with vitamin D3. Unfortunately, some manufacturers choose to fortify their goods with vitamin D2 rather than vitamin D3.


These days, vitamin D supplements are practically everywhere. They can come in capsule or tablet form, and there is also cod liver oil available that is an excellent source of the said nutrient.

Most of the time, supplementing is a good idea because of the fact that some of the sources of vitamin D are avoided by many. For instance, while the use of sunscreen can be very beneficial, it can keep you from getting enough amounts of vitamin D from the sun which is a primary source of it.

Are you a vegetarian? It’s not unlikely for you to end up deficient in vitamin D as some of the best food sources of this particular vitamin come from animals that vegetarians steer clear of.

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