If you’ve looked on the shelves of your local health food stores or browsed the Internet for vitamin D supplements, you’ve probably seen two types of vitamin D. There’s vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Many doctors say D3 is much better than the synthetic D2. But is it? A new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism sets the record straight.
Researchers from Creighton University in Nebraska followed 33 healthy adults for 12 weeks. They divided the participants into two groups. They gave one group 50,000 IUs of vitamin D2. And the second group took 50,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per week. The results confirmed what doctors have said about D3.
According to lead researcher Robert Heaney, MD, “By the various measures employed, D3 was from 56 to 87 percent more potent than D2 in raising serum 25(OH)D, and more than three times as potent in increasing fat calciferol content.”
In other words, vitamin D3 is up to 87% more effective at raising your blood levels of vitamin D than the synthetic version.
We know from other studies that blood levels of vitamin D should be between 50 and 80 ng/ml. It took these participants 12 weeks to raise their blood levels to this range. And they had to take 6,500 IU daily (on average) to do it. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU. Taking this amount will never boost your blood levels to the ideal range. You need to take at least 5,000 IU for at least three months in order to do this. That’s an average. Many people will need 10,000 IU daily to reach these levels.
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Most importantly, you have to take vitamin D3 at these doses to do it. Since D2 is far more expensive, there’s no reason to even consider taking this synthetic version. Stick with the natural form and you’ll save money and prevent cancer, bone loss, the flu, and a bunch of other illnesses. You can order 5,000 IU tablets of vitamin D3 from Advanced Bionutritionals by following this link.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, January 2011