In this article, we will learn the differences between vitamin D Vs D3. The human body requires all the nutrients in their respective concentrations for its optimum functioning. In addition to proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, your body needs certain other nutrients in trace amounts. These include minerals and vitamins.
Vitamins aid various body systems in functioning smoothly. Among the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin D performs many diverse functions and acts as a steroid hormone.
Once you have read it, you will be able to tell which of the two vitamins (Vitamin D or D3) is better for your health. But before that, let’s take a look at the functions of vitamin D.
Role of Vitamin D
Listed below are the body functions in which Vitamin D plays an essential role.
- Absorption of calcium
- Building strong and healthy bones
- Boosting and modulating the immune system
- Preventing muscle fatigue and tiredness
- Helps in weight loss
- Aiding the parathyroid glands in maintaining blood calcium levels
Maintaining the normal levels of vitamin D in the blood is very important. Prolonged deficiency can lead to severe health problems. Vitamin D deficiency is the most prevalent nutrient deficiency, afflicting over one billion people across the world.
Difference Between Vitamin D & D3
Vitamin D has many types depending on the source from which it originates. The two major forms of vitamin D are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Although ‘vitamin D’ is a broad term that refers to all its forms, it mostly describes vitamin D2.
The major difference between both these forms is their source. Vitamin D2 comes from plant sources and is called ergocalciferol. In comparison, Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources and is called cholecalciferol.
Common sources of Vitamin D2 are yeast and mushrooms that resemble fungi. However, Vitamin D3 synthesis takes place in your skin on exposure to sunlight. The precursor for D3 comes from animal-based sources.
For many decades, D2 and D3 were considered equivalent and interchangeable. However, the need to differentiate between these two originated when pharmacologists prepared vitamin D supplements. Various studies have suggested that both of these vitamins differ in their action and effectiveness. So, let’s understand why and which form of vitamin D is better for your body.
Vitamin D3 Is Better In Boosting Vitamin D Levels
In light of evidence collected from recent studies, scientists have established that D3 is better for fortifying food items and preparing supplements. A 2011 Cochrane Database study highlights a reduction in the mortality rate of people who used D3 supplements throughout their lifetime.
Vitamin D2 is less potent than Vitamin D3 because it produces lower levels of 25-D (a product in the pathway of vitamin D synthesis). Besides, it doesn’t bind well with proteins which further hampers its functioning.
Experiments have revealed that D3 doubles the storage quantity of vitamin D. It converts into its active form five times faster than D2.
In short, D3 is far more effective and important than D2 for your health and wellbeing. In case you are suffering from any of the vitamin D deficiency diseases, you should buy D3 supplements and take D3 fortified substances.