Did you know that there is a difference between vitamins D and D3? Although we often call everything “vitamin D”, there is a visible difference between the two. That we have so little knowledge of it is therefore quite unusual.
In this article, we look at the difference between vitamin D and D3 and why vitamin D is so important for your body.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D And D3 Explained1When we talk about vitamins D and D3, we are talking about vitamins D2 and D3. Vitamin D mainly occurs in these two forms. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports the body in absorbing calcium, stimulates bone growth, and strengthens the immune system. This vitamin is one of the few vitamins that our body can produce on its own.

Your body makes vitamin D when you come into contact with natural sunlight. If you don't make enough vitamin D or get too little sunlight, you will have to get it from your diet. Think of meat, eggs, and mushrooms. Because many natural sources of vitamin D contain only small amounts, it is often added to processed products, such as dairy and breakfast cereals. These additives often come in the form of vitamin D2.

The difference between vitamins D and D3

Vitamin D And D3 Explained2There are several differences between vitamin D and D3, but the main difference is that vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is an animal vitamin while vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is a vegetable vitamin. We make vitamin D3 ourselves in our skin, and we can get it from animal products such as egg yolk, liver, fish, and butter. Vitamin D2 is mainly found in mushrooms, as an additive to processed products and in food supplements.

From research has shown that when we come into contact with sunlight, ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) triggers a reaction in our skin. This production takes place from 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is a sterol compound that also occurs in blood plasma. Unlike other vitamins, you cannot overdose on vitamin D3. When you have enough stored in your body, your body simply makes less than usual to keep it in balance.
Another difference between vitamin D and D3 is that vitamin D3 is better able to increase your vitamin D level than vitamin D2. This is because your liver processes vitamin D2 differently, leaving a lower yield of calcifediol. This does not mean that vitamin D2 is bad for you, but that you need much more of it than vitamin D3.
Finally, vitamin D2 supplements often appear to be of lower quality than vitamin D3 and K2 supplements. This has to do with the sensitivity. Vitamin D2 is more sensitive to light, moisture, and temperature, causing it to degrade faster than vitamin D3. However, this has little effect on our health. It just makes us take in even less into our bodies than we actually would.

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