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Vitamin D3 Shown to be Better Than Vitamin D2 at Maintaining Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are the two types of biologically inactive precursors of vitamin D that are transformed into the biologically active form of the vitamin in the liver and kidneys. A recent study suggests that both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are equal when it comes to increasing vitamin D levels in the blood but that D3 is better at sustaining those levels.


Participants in the study included 33 healthy people with an average age of 33. The participants were put into three different groups: a placebo, a starting dose of 100,000 IU of vitamin D2, or a starting dose of 100,000 IU vitamin D3. One week after taking the starting dose, they were given 4,800 IU per day of the same vitamin for another two weeks. That was followed by an 11-week monitoring period.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the starting doses of D2 and D3 boosted blood levels of the vitamin to comparable levels. However, by the end of the study, the D2 group had reached blood levels similar to the placebo. The D3 group however had higher levels than both the vitamin D2 and placebo groups.


Researchers from the Hospital de Clinicas in Buenos Aires and the Universidad de Buenos Aires conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 18, 2015 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Previous studies have found that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of osteoporosis, type-1 diabetes and muscle and bone pain. Adequate levels of vitamin D have been associated with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age.

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