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Osteoporosis Health Center

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The Truth About Vitamin D: What Kind of Vitamin D is Best?

WebMD feature series on vitamin D.
WebMD Feature

What kind of vitamin D is best?

The recommended form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. This is the natural form of vitamin D that your body makes from sunlight. Supplements are made from the fat of lambs' wool.

However, a clinical study reported in 2008 suggested that vitamin D2 works as well as vitamin D3.

Many supplements contain vitamin D as vitamin D2 or calciferol. It's derived from irradiated fungus. Because this is not the form of vitamin D naturally made by your body, WebMD nutritionist Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, recommends using the D3 form for those taking vitamin D supplements.

Because of its potency, different forms of vitamin D are used in prescription medications. If you have a prescription for one of these medications, do not switch to another form of vitamin D without checking with your doctor.

Next: Does vitamin D interact with other medications? next button

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Reviewed on December 17, 2009

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