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Does the type of vitamin D make a difference?

(8 Posts)
indianbackground Sat 11-May-19 15:20:10

Years ago I was prescribed vitamin D3 due to deficiency. I’ve been taking 3 800 unit capsules a week so 60 mcg.I now have to buy it myself (perfectly happy to) but getting confused by the range.

Are there any doctors/pharmacists that can tell me if d3 is better than d2 and about dosage - I’ve seen 25 units up to 2000 and the ones with calcium. Are tablets better than capsules or are they just different?

Local (chain) pharmacy felt like they were just trying to sell most expensive. I’m definitely not taking up a doctor appointment to ask so any help appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
instaflum Sat 11-May-19 15:24:19

I'm not a pharmacist...

I'm not 100% sure which type of D is best, i think one is better absorbed than another.

One thing it is worth noting is it's worth supplementing vitamin K at the same time as it helps it be absorbed / utilised apparently?

You can get a spray with D and K in it, that's nice and easy to take.

greenelephantscarf Sat 11-May-19 15:30:09

d3 is the one you need.
800 3x a week is rather low - I take 1000 a day as maintenance.
if you have absorption issues (coeliacs for example) then a spray is better as it's then absorbed through your mucus membranes and not your gut

indianbackground Sat 11-May-19 17:49:23

Thanks - luckily no absorption problems. I started on the 60 as I thought that’s what the GP said. Then when they were testing (more than a year later) they found the level was fine. They only noticed the wrong dose, should have been 800 a day, because I wasn’t requesting repeat prescription very often. Dr said no need for extra as it was working. I didn’t realise because it just said “as per doctor instructions” on the label rather than a dose.

OP’s posts: |
Bettertobehealthy Sat 11-May-19 17:53:19

hi indianbackground

D3 , ( cholecalciferol ) is the mammalian form of vitamin D ,

D2 ( ergocalciferol ) is made from plants , it has a different chemical structure to the mammalian form.

It is better to use D3 and not D2 . Recent research has shown this to be the case. Even though D2 does have some activity , for example against rickets, you would nowadays be advised by vitamin D researchers to use Vit D3.

The dose that you take entirely depends upon what you are trying to do, vis-a-vis your vitamin D blood levels.

IF you take a daily dose of 1000 IU ( 25mcg ) continuously, i.e.daily, then you can expect your blood level to rise by 25 , from your unsupplemented level. That is an average response. We all do vary.

It is better to take vitamin D3 as close to daily as possible. Every other day is not bad, one a week is not so good , and monthly is not good at all. The reason for this is that VitD3 supplement ( cholecalciferol) is quickly converted by your liver into calcidiol in the blood. However VitD3 (cholecalciferol) is used by your cells, it is important that it is available when a cell needs to pick it up from the intercellular fluid. This is an autocrine response, the cell can convert VitD3 to vitD hormone within the cell and so enable itself to read/transcribe/ regulate gene function. Almost every cell in your body has this capability. Heart,brain,skin, lungs,pancreas,muscle etc etc. So , you need vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol ) available to all cells , all the time. It is this compound which is transferred in mothers milk to baby, and NOT calcidiol . This means that mothers should have substantial doses of vitamin D3 IF they exclusively breastfeed. OR else the baby should receive supplement drops approx 350 to 400 IU daily as recommended by the NHS. Note Formula milk does contain the vitd (supplement) required. Cows milk does not.

Your current dosage level, i.e. 350 IU per day on average , will raise your blood level of calcidiol ( i.e.25hydroxyD3 ) by about 8 from its unsupplemented level. That is quite a small change actually.

Many people nowadays will take 1000 - 3000 IU daily, They see the importance of having blood levels of at least 75. Here in the UK, ( I assume you are in the UK ) we are very likely to be below those levels , the sun is weak, and we cannot make vitamin D in the skin from mid - Oct to mid-April. The more pigmented the skin , the less able the skin is to make Vitamin D3 . Pigmentation acts as a sunscreen.

Vitamin D is the cheapest vitamin to produce. you should be able to find a whole years supply of D3 , online , say Amazon, or others, for around £12 to £15 . A capsule containing oil ( preferably olive oil ) and vitD3 , will probably be the easiest to assimilate.

Hope this is helpful.
If you need any more info ... please get back to me
I have posted quite a bit here on Mumsnet re: Vit D.

Best of luck


indianbackground Sun 12-May-19 01:15:38


Thanks - it’s good to know the reasons for taking things. Yes I’m in the UK and take vitamin d all year. I’ll have a look at upping the dose.

OP’s posts: |
VimFuego101 Sun 12-May-19 01:35:55

Tablets have no impact on me, I have to get shots.

hatemyhairhun Mon 13-May-19 13:11:47

In 2017 my combined level was 15. I was taking a multivitamin containing 400iu of vitamin d at the time too! In 2018 my levels shot up too high to where I was told to stop supplementing.

For the first 6 months I used the 800iu prescribed tablets but then switched to the 3000iu oral spray, and 4000iu D3 tablets, both from Holland and Barrett. I also started to take a magnesium supplement as this can aid vit d absorption.

I think the spray really raised my levels quickly as it absorbs into your body faster. Just be careful not to accidentally spray multiple times as you’ll significantly increase your dosage. If you start to take high dosage tablets, just take them for a short period of time (eg 1 month) so you don’t accidentally raise your levels to a toxic level like I did.

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