Is vitamin d different than d3?

Ladies and gentlemen, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, welcome to the most riveting article on vitamin D you’ve ever laid your eyes on! In this piece, we will be investigating if vitamin D is different from vitamin D3. Hold onto your hats!

The Basics of Vitamin D

Before we dive into the differences between vitamins D and D3, let’s take a look at what good ol’ vitamin D actually is.

Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, helps our bodies absorb calcium which keeps our bones healthy and strong. It plays an essential role in preventing rickets – a condition that causes softening of the bones due to lack of calcium.

But how do we get this beloved nutrient? Well folks, it all comes down to sunlight exposure (cue song: Here Comes The Sun). When exposed to UVB rays from the sun (not too little or too much), our skin converts cholesterol into precursors which ultimately turn into active vitamin D in our bodies.

In addition to sunlight exposure, one can get their fill of vitamin D through fortified foods such as milk or supplements.

Introducing Vitamin D3

Now onto its cousin…Vitamin D3, also known as Cholecalciferol; you may ask yourself- is it any different?

The answer my friends is yes (plot twist)! While both are technically forms of vita-D(hey that rhymed!), there are some distinct differences between them.

For starters…

Origin Story

Vitamin D has two main types: ergocalciferol(D2) found in plants including fungi while cholecalciferol(D3) accompanies animals like fish oil.
You see where I’m going with this? That’s right folks- animal kingdom>plant kingdom! (don’t at me vegans)

Our Body’s Preference

It turns out that the body has a preference for vitamin D3 over its counterpart form D2. Studies have shown that turning D2 from supplements or fortified foods into usable vita-D by our bodies is not as efficient as converting D3.

In simpler terms, giving your body more cholecalciferol improves blood levels better than taking ergocalciferol!


As Sunshines Vita-D is obtained through sunlight exposure, there really isn’t a need to worry about its bioavailability/absorption rate since it comes directly through the skin.
However when considering other sources of dietary intake such as animals oils/fish oil- cholecalcifero(D3) maintains higher absorption rates in comparison to additives(fortified foods).

More Differences

Is anyone still with us? Just making sure we haven’t lost you amidst all these fascinating facts and differences.

Now where were we? Ah yes- let’s take a look at some more disparities between vitamins D and D3:


Vitamin D3, unlike vitamin D, has a longer shelf life which makes it easier to store and stock up on without worrying too much about expiration dates.Also due to their stability,D3 can be used into preparing functional food products like cheese,milk etc.
Honestly, who enjoys constantly checking those labels in fear of consuming expired items anyway?

Medical Uses

Vitamin D2(ergocalciferol),has been proven useful medically (with effective medication dosage administration) for chronic kidney disease patients,on dialysis or not;also among postmenopausal women administered with calcium,vita-d supplementation amongst others.
However,vitamin ‘d gives maximum health benefits when converted from Vitamin oC produced via sun exposure.Irony huh?

Running on Sunshine

In conclusion- there are definitely differences between vitamin D and D3, from where they come, how our bodies process them, to their shelf-life.
But at the end of the day,we mustn’t forget that they both play crucial roles in keeping our bones strong and healthy!

So folks,to quote a famous song.. “I’m running on sunshine wooooooaahhh“.Now I don’t quite know if those sunshine rays will suffice but honestly what harm can an extra source of vita-d do? (just be responsible with your sun tanning!)

Till next time!

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