Vitamin D3 Is Twice As Effective As Vitamin D2, Says Research
1. Vitamin D is a powerful nutrient that helps the gut absorb calcium, it has also been linked to a number of other health benefits
2. There are two types of vitamin D: D2 and D3
3. Scientists set out to find out which one raises vitamin D levels in the body more effectively
4. They discovered vitamin D3 is twice as effective, compared to D2
5. The researchers suggest guidelines about vitamin D should be changed, as a result of their research
Vitamin D has become the supplement du jour, with more and more evidence highlighting the wealth of benefits it can have on our health. However, you might want to pay more attention to the form of vitamin D (whether it's via food or a supplement) you take, reveals new research.
According to a new study, vitamin D2 and D3 do not have equal nutritional value – so much so, researchers argue that there should be a rethink of official guidelines.
There are two types of vitamin D, write Medical News Today; D2 and D3. The first derives from plant sources and the latter from animal ones. Up until this latest study, it's been largely thought that both perform well as a supplement. However, a University of Surrey study that set out to find which of the two forms raise vitamin D levels in the body more effectively, discovered D3 performed better.
Over two winters, the researchers studied over 300 women from South Asia and Europe and split the participants in to five groups. The women either consumed vitamin D2 in a biscuit or drink, vitamin D3 in a biscuit or drink, or were given a placebo.
Those who had the form D3 in a biscuit raised their vitamin D levels by 74%, while those having the vitamin D3 in the juice saw their levels rise by 75%. However, the women who had D2 in a biscuit and juice, saw levels rise by 33-34% and the placebo group saw their levels drop by a quarter.
Lead author Dr. Laura Tripkovic explains:
"The importance of vitamin D in our bodies is not to be underestimated, but living in the UK, it is very difficult to get sufficient levels of it from its natural source, the sun, so we know it has to be supplemented through our diet…. [O]ur findings show that vitamin D-3 is twice as effective as D-2 in raising vitamin D levels in the body, which turns current thinking about the two types of vitamin D on its head."
She added that those who consume D3 through animal products, such as fish, eggs or supplements are twice as likely to raise their vitamin D levels, compared to those on a vitamin D2-rich diet, such as mushrooms or fortified bread.