Vitamin D critical to overall health

Supplement vs. sunshine

I know I’ve mentioned it numerous times before, but it bears repeating that vitamin D is truly one of the most critical nutrients to overall health. It’s something I think everyone should be taking every day. But you need to be careful about which form of vitamin D you choose.

I always recommend vitamin D3. It’s the active form of the vitamin.

The other form of vitamin D, D2, is manufactured in the body when skin is exposed to sunshine. But research has shown that, in supplement form, it’s a much

weaker source. In fact, a major study published last year found that vitamin D3 is 87% more potent than vitamin D2.

And a new metanalysis of seven studies found that vitamin D3 is much more effective at raising serum 25(OH)D concentrations, compared with vitamin D-2. This study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

I recommend at least 2,000-5,000 IU per day of vitamin D3.


“Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012; 95(6): 1,357-1,364