Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) are both forms of Vitamin D that are important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, as they help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the diet. Vitamin D is also involved in immune system function and has been shown to have potential benefits for cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention.
Here are some key differences between Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3:
- Synthesis: Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants and is found in certain fungi and yeasts. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by the skin in response to sunlight exposure and is found in some animal-derived foods.
- Food sources: Vitamin D2 is present in some foods, such as fortified bread and cereals, mushrooms, and some types of fish. Vitamin D3 is found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and liver.
- Effectiveness: Vitamin D3 is generally considered the preferred form of Vitamin D for supplementation and fortification of foods, as it is more effective at increasing and maintaining Vitamin D levels in the body than Vitamin D2.
Vitamin D2 Foods
Here are some examples of foods that contain vitamin D2:
- Mushrooms: Some types of mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake, naturally contain Vitamin D2. The amount of Vitamin D2 in mushrooms can vary depending on the type of mushroom and how it is grown.
- Fortified foods: Many foods, such as bread, cereals, and plant-based milks, are fortified with Vitamin D2. The amount of Vitamin D2 in fortified foods can vary, so it is important to check the nutrition label to determine the exact amount.
- Some types of fish: Some types of fish, such as salmon and sardines, contain small amounts of Vitamin D3, which is the form of Vitamin D that is most effective at increasing and maintaining Vitamin D levels in the body.
Vitamin D3 Foods
Here are some examples of foods that contain vitamin D3:
- Fatty fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources of Vitamin D3.
- Egg yolks: Egg yolks contain small amounts of Vitamin D3.
- Liver: Liver is a rich source of Vitamin D3.
- Cheese: Some types of cheese, such as cheddar and swiss, contain small amounts of Vitamin D3.
- Mushrooms: Some types of mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake, naturally contain Vitamin D2, which is a form of Vitamin D that is less effective at increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels in the body than Vitamin D3.
- Fortified foods: Many foods, such as milk, orange juice, and cereal, are fortified with Vitamin D3. The amount of Vitamin D3 in fortified foods can vary, so it is important to check the nutrition label to determine the exact amount.
Vitamin D2 and D3 Recommended Intake
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D varies depending on age, sex, and life stage. The following are the daily recommended intake levels for Vitamin D, as established by the Institute of Medicine:
- Children and adolescents: 600-1,000 IU (international units) per day
- Adults up to age 70: 600-800 IU per day
- Adults over age 70: 800-1,000 IU per day
It is important to note that these recommendations are for total Vitamin D intake from all sources, including sunlight exposure, diet, and supplements.
It is important to get enough Vitamin D, as a deficiency can lead to weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D varies depending on age, sex, and life stage. Most people can meet their Vitamin D needs through a combination of sunlight exposure, a balanced diet, and supplements, if needed. If you are concerned about your Vitamin D intake, it is a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional. They can help determine the appropriate daily intake level for you based on your specific needs and circumstances.