Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3: Which One Is Better for You?

The debate about whether vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 is the superior choice for maintaining healthy levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in your body has been ongoing. However, recent scientific research offers valuable insights. In this article, we’ll break it down in straightforward terms.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to settle this matter. They combed through the literature, comparing vitamin D2 and vitamin D3’s effects on 25(OH)D concentrations in humans.

The results of this thorough analysis are crystal clear. Vitamin D3 comes out as the winner. It significantly and positively boosts 25(OH)D concentrations in your body, surpassing the impact of vitamin D2.

Moreover, the way you take these vitamins matters. When given as a bolus dose (a single large dose), vitamin D3 shows an even more pronounced effect compared to vitamin D2. However, this advantage diminishes when both are taken as daily supplements.

In simpler terms, if you want to elevate your 25(OH)D levels effectively, vitamin D3 is your go-to option. It outperforms vitamin D2 in this regard.

But, before you make a beeline for vitamin D3 supplements, keep in mind that more research is needed to understand how the body processes these vitamins. The effects may vary depending on factors such as age, sex, and ethnicity, which this review couldn’t conclusively determine.

If you’re aiming to maintain or elevate your 25(OH)D levels, vitamin D3 is the better choice based on current evidence. However, stay tuned for more research to get the full picture, and always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your supplementation routine.


Tripkovic L, Lambert H, Hart K, Smith CP, Bucca G, Penson S, Chope G, Hyppönen E, Berry J, Vieth R, Lanham-New S. Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;95(6):1357-64. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031070. Epub 2012 May 2. PMID: 22552031; PMCID: PMC3349454.