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New study shows vitamin D2 intake associated with lower levels of activated vitamin D

Posted on: June 3, 2014   by  Will Hunter


New research shows that supplemental and dietary intake of vitamin D2 is associated with lower levels of 25(OH)D3 and calcitriol, which is the activated form of vitamin D.

Published in The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, it is the first study to investigate a possible link between 25(OH)D2, 25(OH)D3, and calcitriol.

Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) are two of the most important forms of vitamin D. The former is converted into 25(OH)D2 and is derived exclusively from food and supplements, and the latter is converted into 25(OH)D3 and can be obtained from sun exposure, supplements, and in small amounts in food.

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3 Responses to New study shows vitamin D2 intake associated with lower levels of activated vitamin D

  1. John Cannell, MD

    When 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 are both in the blood, the 25(OH)D3 will fall over time because the body prefers the natural metabolite and uses it in preference to the unnatural metabolite, 25(OH)D2.

  2. RodEverson

    Dr. Cannell refers to 25(OH)D2 as “unnatural” but the article claims that it’s precursor, ergocalciferol, is available in the form of food (as well as supplements). If ingested as food, why wouldn’t it, too, be considered a natural source of 25(OH)D2?

    I understand that huge dosages of D2 have often been prescribed by physicians and why that would be considered an “unnatural” source, but what about food?

  3. Rita and Misty

    Rod~Putting aside whether a food source of D2 would be considered natural, or not; let’s just speak to the benefits of D3 over D2:

    ~~D3 has a longer half-life in the body.
    ~~D3 is more readily converted than D2 to the active form of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)D.
    ~~There is also evidence that the active form of D3 is more potent than that of D2; after conversion to the 1,25 form, some 1,25(OH)D2 is partially deactivated in the kidney, whereas 1,25(OH)D3 remains active.

    However, I must admit that I too often wonder why D2 from food sources would be considered unnatural. Perhaps someone here will answer this question for us.

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