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Vitamin D2 vs D3: What's the Difference?

Emma Cattell, senior research and development nutritionist explains the difference between vitamin D2 and D3.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient produced naturally in the body as a result of exposure to UV light from the sun. It is essential for the health of teeth, bones and the immune system and there are many approved health claims to support this. The best and most efficient way to obtain vitamin D is through adequate sun exposure however in months where there is reduced sunlight, (and for those working indoors) supplementation is essential. Public Health England recommends a daily intake of 10µg (400IU). As there are few foods with a naturally high vitamin D content, fortification can be beneficial.

What is the Difference Between Vitamin D2 and D3?

Structurally, Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are very similar. The only exceptions are that vitamin D2 has a double bond between carbons 22 and 23 and a methyl group on carbon 24. Historically vitamin D3 has always been viewed as favourable to vitamin D2.However, a recent study by Keegan et al (2013) into the bioavailability of vitamin D2 found that ingestion of 2000 IUs of vitamin D2 produced in mushrooms is equally as effective as ingesting 2000 IUs of vitamin D3 in supplement form. Both sufficiently raised and maintained blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a marker for an individual’s vitamin D status. Likewise, Holick et al (2008) observed similar results when comparing vitamin D2 to vitamin D3, concluding that D2 is equally as effective as D3 in maintaining 25-hydroxyvitamin D status.

VitaShroom D® Vitamin D Mushroom Powder

VitaShroom D®, CCL’s exclusive vitamin D2 powder, is derived 100% from mushrooms grown in Europe under UV light solely for Cambridge Commodities providing a fully traceable source. Similarly to humans, mushrooms can produce vitamin D in their skin in response to exposure to UV light. VitaShroom D® does not contain any fillers, bulking agents or other excipients, making it a clean label ingredient. With 7500IUs of active vitamin D per gram of product, the quantity required to obtain 100% RI (5µg / 200IU) is only 26.7mg of VitaShroom D®. 

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