Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for maintaining good bone health and a healthy immune system. It is found naturally in certain foods, such as fatty fish, and in products fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, cereals and orange juice. It can also be produced by the body when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. Vitamin D is measured in international units (IU) and is available in different concentrations.Vitamin D2 and D3 are slightly different in their chemical structures.
Vitamin D2 is obtained from plant sources, while vitamin D3 comes from animal sources or from exposure to sunlight. However, both forms of vitamin D are well absorbed in the small intestine and must pass through the liver and kidneys to be processed into the active, usable form. Both vitamin D2 and D3 are easily available as over-the-counter oral supplements. Lower concentrations can be purchased without a prescription, while higher doses of up to 50,000 IU require a prescription. Recent studies have shown that daily doses of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are equally effective in increasing levels of vitamin D.
Therefore, the type of vitamin D you receive is less important than getting the right dose and making sure your levels are within the correct range to avoid deficiency. The dosage of over-the-counter vitamin D supplements varies depending on the person's dietary intake, underlying conditions, and whether they are used as a dietary supplement or as a treatment for vitamin D deficiency. If you want to see what your vitamin D levels are, take the Everlywell vitamin D test, a simple option that you can perform at home and that allows you to conveniently collect a sample at home and send it to a laboratory for precise analysis (the kit includes a prepaid shipping label).Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for overall health and wellbeing. It is important to understand the difference between over-the-counter and prescription forms of vitamin D so that you can make an informed decision about which type is best for you. Over-the-counter forms of vitamin D are generally lower concentrations than prescription forms, but both types are equally effective in increasing levels of vitamin D.
The dosage of over-the-counter supplements should be tailored to your individual needs based on dietary intake, underlying conditions, and whether they are used as a dietary supplement or as a treatment for deficiency. If you want to know your current levels of vitamin D, take the Everlywell vitamin D test. This simple option allows you to conveniently collect a sample at home and send it to a laboratory for precise analysis.