A new systematic review and meta-analysis compares the efficacy of vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) in improving vitamin D status. Published in the journal Nutrients by researchers from India, a total of 24 studies were examined in the review, 22 of which were subjected to meta-analysis. The researchers found that, compared to the D2 form, the D3 form was more efficacious in improving levels of vitamin D. Their finding confirms that, for supplementation purposes, vitamin D3 is the superior form of this micronutrient.
The Nutrients meta-analysis included a total of 1,277 patients. Of these, 644 received the D3 form of vitamin D. The other 633 patients were given the D2 form. All of the studies involved healthy individuals, including elderly people, postmenopausal women, and pre-pubertal children. Significantly, the greater efficacy of the D3 form in improving vitamin D status was found to occur irrespective of study participant demographics, the dosages used, or the manner in which the micronutrient was given (e.g., through fortified foods or supplements etc.).
In addition, the D3 form of vitamin D was also found to be more effective than the D2 form in reducing serum levels of parathyroid hormone. Produced by the parathyroid glands and playing a key role in regulating levels of calcium in the blood, parathyroid hormone is considered a biomarker of bone mineral metabolism.
Noting that parathyroid hormone tightly regulates calcium homeostasis, the Nutrients researchers write that this comes at the expense of bone resorption. The process via which osteoclasts break down old bone tissue, bone resorption involves a transfer of calcium from bones to the blood. If serum parathyroid levels rise too high, however, a possibility that becomes increasingly likely with age, too much calcium can be removed from the bones. The consequences of this can include bone thinning and kidney stones. As the researchers therefore observe, the vitamin D induced regulation of parathyroid hormone is essential for bone health.
Vitamin D3 and the nutrient synergy effect
In recent years, scientists at the Dr. Rath Research Institute have conducted multiple studies demonstrating the benefits of vitamin D3. In one such study, they tested its anticancer effects on breast cancer cells. When tested alone, vitamin D3 inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells by 17 percent. But when combined with green tea extract, it inhibited cancer cell growth by 62 percent.
Combining vitamin D3 with additional nutrients resulted in an even greater inhibition of cancer cell growth. When used with a sophisticated nutrient combination including vitamin C, lysine, proline, arginine, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, copper, manganese, and green tea extract, the growth of breast cancer cells was impressively inhibited by up to 94 percent. This cooperative interaction between carefully chosen specific nutrients is known as the nutrient synergy effect and has been pioneered by scientists at the Dr. Rath Research Institute. Other studies conducted at the institute have examined the cardiovascular benefits of vitamin D3 and noted a synergistic interaction with vitamin C.
This brings us to an important point. While vitamin D3 has become increasingly popular as a supplement in recent years, for best results it should always be taken as part of a carefully designed synergistic combination of micronutrients. In this respect, we would encourage you to study Dr. Rath’s Basic Cellular Health Recommendations. In addition to vitamin D3, these include a carefully chosen selection of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and trace elements. Ensuring the nutrient combinations that you take are synergistically designed is the first step towards optimizing your health!