Vitamin D2 (Plant-Source) Is Effective At Raising Vitamin D Levels In The Body

avatarby Platinum NaturalsLast updated Nov 2, 2017Category: Hot Topics

Up until now, vitamin D2 and D3 were assumed to have the same nutritional value. This landmark study out of the University of Surrey, U.K. looked at both types of vitamin D—D2 (plant source) and D3 (animal source) and their effectiveness in raising levels of vitamin D in our body. This study caught the attention of major media outlets including CBC, CTV, CNN, NBC, ABC, New York Times, Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

Study Particulars

  • 12 week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial during the winter months
  • 355 South Asian and white European women, 20-64 years old
  • Placebo was unfortified juice with biscuit daily for 12 weeks
  • Juice with biscuit fortified with 600 IU (15 mcg) Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3 daily for 12 weeks

Limits of this Study

  • Lack of dose-response data for vitamin D2 and D3 fortification (only one dose studied)
  • This study did not analyse the physiological mechanism behind the different activity of vitamin D2 and D3

What Was Already Known

  • In 2012 Tripkovic (Am J Clin Nutr 95: 1357-1364) published a comprehensive meta-analysis of studies up to and including 2012 that clearly demonstrated the lack of power (small sample sizes) and large variation in the dosage and frequency of administration of vitamin D between studies

What This Study Adds

  • 600 IU of vitamin D2 or D3 is sufficient to achieve and maintain healthy 25(OH)D concentrations >50 nmol/L in the wintertime for those 0-65 y.o. (see Figure)
  • A large single or intermittent bolus of vitamin D2 or D3 followed by lower daily doses of vitamin D2 or D3 is not required to achieve and maintain healthy 25(OH)D levels
  • Those who consume D2 rich foods such as mushrooms, vitamin D2 fortified bread or vitamin D2 containing supplements can raise their vitamin D levels to near similar levels as those consuming D3 through fish, eggs, or vitamin D3 containing supplements

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Tripkovic, L., Wilson, L.R., Hart, K., Johnsen, S., de Lusignan, S., Smith, C.P., Bucca, G., Penson, S., Chope, G., Elliott, R., Hypponen, E., Berry, J.L. and Lanham-New, S.A. (2017) Daily supplementation with 15 mcg vitamin D2 compared with vitamin D3 to increase wintertime 25-hydroxyvitamin D status in healthy South Asian and white European women: a 12-wk randomized, placebo-controlled food-fortification trial. Am J Clin Nutr doi: https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.138693.

Hot Topic Small Talk – Volume 2, Number 7

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