Update: Vitamin D2 vs. D3

In continuing to bone up on the bones research, I have summarized some recent findings on vitamin D2 vs. D3 and updated the Bones, Vitamin D, and Calcium page at

So that I do not have to continue updating this page to reflect the page, I have cut the article from this post and readers should just refer to the link above. Thank you.


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6 Responses to “ Update: Vitamin D2 vs. D3”

  1. JL Says:

    My new DO sat me down to discuss my latest bloodwork – Vit D was down to 12.6. She suggested I find a vegan D3 and I found Nature’s Source Source of Life Garden™ Vitamin D3 Caps ( Any opinions on this?

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:


    The only vitamin D3 that I feel certain is vegan is Vitashine. You can read the conversation about Nature’s Plus in the comments here:

    To sum it up, their lab never got back to me about whether they differentiate between D2 and D3. D2 should work for most vegans.

  3. angela Says:

    I am another person who had D levels at a 5 (!!) and was able to bring my levels up into the normal range fairly quickly with D-2 tablets instead of the 50,000 I.U. gel caps my doctor prescribed to me. I’ve maintained optimal levels by taking 2,400 I.U. of D-2 a few times a week since then. I live in the north and don’t get much sun year-round.

  4. Melissa Says:

    Oh no, I just bought two big bottles labelled generically “Vitamin D”, and just saw now that they’re actually cholecalciferol! I wish labels would just say if they have animal products in them instead of us having to look up ingredients ourselves.

  5. Veg Says:

    A reason why some vegans can not raise their Vitamin D levels with D2 could be that some methods for the determination of the 25OH D value can differentiate between 25OHD2 and 25OHD3. D2 is more or less irrelevant for the general population as most people get their vitamin D as D3 from animal products or supplements. However, for vegans this is not the case and sometimes the labs give you the 25OHD3 level because they are just used to record only this value.
    I know one person where this definitely was the “cause” for a low vitamin D level.

  6. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Very interesting. I checked it out and found this:

    More typically, underestimation is observed. This is particularly the case in patients on vitamin D2 therapy; some immunoassays cannot detect 25 OH Vit D2.

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