Natural Vitamin D3 is Easier on the Stomach

P My doctor says I have to take vitamin D3, but I know from the past the story that vitamin D3 upsets the stomach, no matter what the dose.

I was pleased to learn that there are two different types of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). The most common is of animal origin, but the other is of plant origin. It is derived from lichens. This does not alter the stomach and am grateful to have learned the difference.

A. Often, when doctors discover that a patient has insufficient vitamin D circulating in the body, which prescribed 50,000 IU per week of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). This supplement is derived from plant sources and has been considered equivalent to vitamin D3. A systematic review last year found that while vitamin D3 supplementation reduces mortality, vitamin D2 has no impact on longevity ( Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews , January 10, 2014). Perhaps prescribing practices should change in light of this evidence.

The form of vitamin D3 that is relatively new. It is marketed under the name Vitashine and is included in several brands of vegetarian vitamin D3 supplements. We are pleased to know that you do not cause digestive discomfort.

We are in the middle of winter and most people are not exposing much skin to sunlight. That means our bodies are doing little or no deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D is much more common than most health professionals and patients realize. These are just some of the consequences:

  • The increased risk of developing cancer
  • Increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
  • Susceptibility blue-time winter
  • more likely to develop the flu, colds or other infections

offer many more details about the consequences of insufficient vitamin D along with recommendations on supplementation in our Guidelines for vitamin D deficiency .

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