Vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining your health and well-being. But what sets certain vitamins apart from others?
Two important vitamins are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. These nutrients play an active role in multiple functions throughout your body, but they are distinctly different from each other. Learn more about the differences between vitamins D2 and D3 in this comprehensive guide.
What Is Vitamin D?
You may know the importance of having well-rounded nutrition — either from your diet or from dietary supplements — but do you know the importance of specific vitamins like vitamin D? Vitamin D is regarded as one of the most vital nutrients for maintaining a healthy body, as it plays a major role in bone strength, heart health, and more.
So what exactly is vitamin D? Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that the body produces naturally when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Specific types of vitamin D can be used as dietary supplements or prescription medications. The two primary types of vitamin D are vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.
Also known as ergocalciferol, vitamin D2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids a variety of functions throughout the body. These include the absorption of calcium and phosphorus to keep the bones strong and healthy.
Vitamin D2 is plant-sourced and created when yeast is exposed to ultraviolet light. It can be found in specific dietary sources, including sockeye salmon, fortified milk, certain cereals, and mushrooms.
Vitamin D2 offers a variety of health benefits, including the following:
- Maintains strong bones
- Improves joint health
- Strengthens immune system
- Reduces inflammation
Another benefit of vitamin D2 is its use in treating certain medical conditions, including osteoporosis, hypoparathyroidism, and rickets.
While similar to vitamin D2 in terms of the benefits it offers, vitamin D3 has some stark differences in its source and uses. The official term for vitamin D3 is cholecalciferol, which is animal-sourced and made when sheep lanolin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
When exposed to UV radiation, the cholesterol in the lanolin is converted into vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 can be found in a wide variety of food sources, including cheese, fish liver, fortified cereal, milk salmon, tuna, trout, and eggs.
Vitamin D3 provides a long list of health benefits, some of which overlap with the benefits of vitamin D2. The medical benefits of vitamin D3 include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Promotes bone growth
- Aids in muscle contraction and regulation
- Encourages bone remodeling
- Facilitates conversion of blood sugar (glucose)
- Stimulates skin repair and skin cell growth
- Improves muscle health
- Boosts immune strength
- Promotes increased calcium absorption
- Enhances cardiovascular health
Vitamin D3 presents certain benefits over vitamin D2 specifically. For instance, it is more effective at raising overall vitamin D levels within your bloodstream and maintains these higher levels for longer. For this reason, vitamin D3 is usually preferred as a nutritional aid or supplement over D2.
In addition, doctors prescribe vitamin D3 to treat several medical concerns, including osteoporosis, hypoparathyroidism, kidney disease, and more. It is also used to increase calcium levels in patients struggling with severe calcium deficiency by helping the body properly absorb calcium from natural food sources.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
How do you know if you need vitamin D3? Many people are unaware that they suffer from vitamin D deficiency until their symptoms become more severe. Look for the following signs that you may be in need of vitamin D3 injections or IV nutrient therapy:
- Muscle weakness
- Bone pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Respiratory distress
- Heart arrhythmias
It is important to note that these symptoms can be attributed to other medical concerns as well. However, they are nonetheless often associated with vitamin D deficiencies.
If you are exhibiting these symptoms, a simple blood panel can determine whether you are low in vitamin D. Once confirmed, there are several ways to address your deficiency, ranging from vitamin injections and IV hydration to dietary changes.
Looking for IV Hydration in Sioux Falls?
Are you interested in IV drip therapy or vitamin injections in the Sioux Falls area? To experience your own vitamin D3 benefits, book an appointment with Vital Flow Infusions.
Our providers offer both IV therapy and vitamin injections to meet your nutritional needs in a simple and effective way. We even offer mobile IV therapy so you can get treatment in the comfort of your own home. To learn more about our IV infusions, contact us online or by phone today.