Vitamin D2 vs D3: Which is Better?

There are two main types of vitamin D: D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol). This article reviews the major similarities and differences and discusses which is better.

By OBGYN Dr. Kenosha Gleaton

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in some foods, supplements, and is produced through ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. In this article, we will compare these two types of vitamin D to better understand the differences.

Is vitamin D2 the same as vitamin D3?

Vitamin D has two main forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). While these are both forms of vitamin D, they do differ chemically (as seen below).

Vitamin D3 is mainly found in animal-sourced foods (although vegan D3 does exist!), and D2 mainly comes from plant sources and fortified foods. Both forms of vitamin D are well absorbed in the small intestine and convert to the same active forms once inside your body. However, some research indicates that these forms may work in different ways to influence health.

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