Tina  from United States  asks:

What is the difference between vitamin D, D2, and D3?

Lynn Green, Integrative Nurse and Master Herbalist:  IN Ingredients and Products8/27/2021 10:50:00 AM

Vitamin D is used as a general term for vitamins D2 and D3. Vitamin D is typically acquired from the sun, fortified foods like milk, breakfast cereals and orange juice, or foods like herring, sardines, wild-caught salmon, and fish liver oils. Most Americans do not meet daily recommended intake levels for vitamin D through their diet. It also may be difficult for people with certain skin tones or lifestyles to get the recommended amount of vitamin D because of sun exposure; the darker your skin tone, the less you can absorb from the sun. Or, if you're like most people, you likely work indoors and have made it a habit to reduce your exposure to the sun with SPF and hats. That's where supplements come in.

Here are the differences: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized from yeast and mushrooms and is less bioavailable throughout the body. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the active and preferred form of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is derived from the lanolin in sheep's wool and can be found in fatty animal-sourced foods such as fish or egg yolks.

That said, if you're vegan, you may want to take a supplement with vitamin D2 versus vitamin D3, as D3 is derived from animal sources.

Just know that getting even 10 minutes of sun exposure a day is good for your vitamin D production.

Lynn Green, Integrative Nurse and Master Herbalist
Integrative Nurse and Master Herbalist

Lynn Green

Lynn Green’s interest in health and wellness began as a child, and she channeled it into a fulfilling career as a nurse practitioner. Lynn works onsite at Nature’s Way, assisting employees on their journey to health. Her focus is on primary prevention, and she blends Western medicine with herbal wisdom, mind-body techniques, and lifestyle changes to help her patients achieve overall well-being and good health.

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