What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D & Vitamin D3?


Asked by Jack Maxcy

What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D & Vitamin D3?


Vitamin D2 is the form of D that is found in fortified foods like milk, juices or cereals, and D3 is the form that is synthesized by the skin when it's exposed to the sun or (ultraviolet light/UVB). D2 (ergocalciferol) can be found in some plants/fungus. D3 (cholecalciferol) is the sunlight form, and can also be obtained  from animals that manufactured it through their skin,  like that  in fish liver.   Since the body can produce this it's actually considered a hormone and not a vitamin. D regulates calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Some feel that D3 is more effective in humans than D2.   D3 can be obtained after 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) and is recommended 3-4 times a week.   For those that can't get this sun exposure, supplements are a  recommended substitute.   The current RDA on D3 is 1,000 IU's a day for those over the age of 20.

If you're unsure if you are getting enough vitamin D - regardless of which one - you should get your vitamin D levels checked.

Answered by Pam Flores