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Vitamin D2 vs. D3 – Which is More Effective?


Are you considering taking vitamin D supplements but need help deciding which form to choose? Alternatively, you may already take one type of vitamin D and have been curious if another would suit you better. With so many vitamin D supplements available, determining which is right for you can get tricky and confusing, which is where we come in.

This guide takes an in-depth look at two of the most common forms of vitamin D and explores the pros and cons of each, as well as their effectiveness, toxicity levels, and recommended daily intake. Let’s look at the differences between vitamins D2 and D3 and see which is best for you based on your needs.

Vitamin D2

Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, is a form of vitamin D derived from plant sources. Some foods, like fortified dairy products, mushrooms, and some cereals, are the primary way many people get vitamin D2.

Pros and cons of vitamin D2


One of the significant advantages of vitamin D2 is that it is vegan-friendly, making it an ideal choice for those who follow a plant-based diet or choose not to eat meat or animal products.

Also, vitamin D2 is easy to obtain and can be found in many fortified foods, making it easy for people who don’t get enough natural sunlight to get it.

One of the drawbacks of vitamin D2 is its lower potency compared to vitamin D3. D2 also may not elevate vitamin D levels in the body as efficiently as vitamin D3.

Also, vitamin D2 may not be as bioavailable as vitamin D3, which means that the body might be unable to utilize it as quickly.1

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is a form of vitamin D that is synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Specific food sources, including fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products, are also ideal sources of vitamin d3.

Pros of vitamin D3

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Vitamin D3 promotes health in many ways, like helping your bones stay healthy and lowering your risk of getting osteoporosis. Vitamin D3 has also been found to be crucial in maintaining the immune system and may help treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, vitamin D3 can help to improve mood and mental health. Research has found that individuals with depression often have low levels of vitamin D, and supplementation may help improve symptoms.

Cons of vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is vital for human health, but too much of it can cause toxicity, leading to nausea, vomiting, and kidney damage, among other problems. Toxic effects are rare, though, and usually only happen when people take very large amounts of vitamin D3 supplements.

While the body can more easily absorb vitamin D3 than vitamin D2, it is not suitable for everyone. People with vitamin D allergies or who have malabsorption issues should not take vitamin D supplements without first talking to a doctor.

Vitamin D2 vs. D3: Which is best?

The daily requirements of vitamin D vary depending on age, gender, and medical condition. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a daily intake of 600–800 IU of vitamin D for most adults.

Both vitamin D2 and D3 have health benefits, and the best option depends on the individual’s specific needs. Vitamin D2 is best for individuals who follow a vegan or plant-based diet and those who need to treat or prevent rickets or certain inflammatory conditions.

Vitamin D3 can help improve bone health, support a healthy immune system, and may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. For many, vitamin D3 is the preferred form of vitamin D supplementation due to its higher potency and bioavailability.

Final thoughts

Both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are vital nutrients necessary for good health. Speaking with a doctor or nurse to determine the proper dosage and ensure there will not be any problems with other medications or health conditions before starting a new supplement regimen is imperative.

Vitamin D Shots with Drip Hydration

Our vitamin D shouts can help ensure that you get enough of this essential vitamin D. We make it easy to get vitamin therapy by bringing your appointment directly to you whether you’re at the gym, office, home, or somewhere else. Our IV treatments are a fast and convenient way to get the benefits of vitamin infusions and generally last between 30 - 45 minutes.

In addition to our IVs, we offer select add-ons such as anti-nausea or anti-inflammatory medications, glutathione shots, and B12 shots to provide further benefits and help you feel your best.

If you want to know more about our treatments or the places we service, give us a call! We’ll be happy to answer anything you’d like to know about vitamin D drips.

Vitamin D Shots - Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take too much vitamin D?

Yes, it is possible to take too much vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it can build up in the body and potentially lead to toxic levels if it is consumed in large amounts. Vitamin D toxicity can cause hypercalcemia, a buildup of calcium in your blood. This condition can cause symptoms such as weakness, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, kidney problems, and more.

How often do you need vitamin D shots?

Frequency of treatment depends on individual circumstances such as the severity of vitamin D deficiency, medical history, and other factors. However, most people may receive 1 – 3 shots over the course of a year.

Are vitamin D shots better than oral supplements?

Yes. Because vitamin D shots are given intramuscularly, the ingredients bypass your digestive system so that the full dose is available to your body for maximum benefits. Vitamin D shots are rapidly available for your cells to use.

What happens if you don’t treat vitamin D deficiency?

Not treating vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a rare but treatable condition that causes fatigue, frequent illnesses, depression, and impacts bone and muscle health. In children, vitamin D deficiency can impact normal growth and development.

Read more: Vitamin D Shots FAQ


[1] Lehmann U. - Bioavailability of vitamin D(2) and D(3) in healthy volunteers, a randomized placebo-controlled trial.;