Vitamin D vs Vitamin D3: Difference and Comparison

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is available in a few foods.  Vitamin D can b acquired from the sun and food supplements.


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They regulate calcium and maintain the phosphorous level in the blood. They also help the body against a range of diseases like type 1 diabetes.

Vitamin D from sunshine helps improve the mood. It also helps improve depression symptoms.

Apart from this, Vitamin D also helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin D3 is one of the forms of Vitamin D. It is a dietary supplement for people who do not get enough Vitamin D.

They are animal-based supplements. They also help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus.

Key Takeaways

  1. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, supporting immune function, and regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the body.
  2. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is one of the two primary forms of vitamin D, naturally produced in the skin upon sunlight and found in certain animal-based foods.
  3. The primary difference between vitamin D and D3 is that vitamin D refers to the general category of essential nutrients. In contrast, vitamin D3 is a specific form of vitamin D, crucial for the body’s health.

Vitamin D vs Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is fat-soluble. The body may store it for a long time before using it. Plants and fortified foods are the sources of vitamin D. While our bodies naturally create vitamin D3 when exposed to sunlight. It increases blood levels of calcifediol more steadily and nearly two times as effectively.

Vitamin D vs Vitamin D3


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonVitamin DVitamin D3
The brand nameDrisdol, Calcidol, CalciferolDecara, Dialyvite D3 Max
Drug classVitamin D AnalogVitamin D Analog
Brand/generic statusBrand and generic availableBrand and generic available
Generic nameErgocalciferol or Vitamin D2Cholecalciferol, Vitamin D, or Vitamin D3.
Standard dosage1,000 IU to 2,000 IU daily for vitamin D supplementation1,000 IU to 2,000 IU daily for vitamin D supplementation.
Form in which the drug comes inOral tablets and capsule, oral liquid solution.Oral tablets and capsules, oral liquid solution, sublingual liquid solution
Who uses the medicationInfants, children, adolescents, and adultsInfants, children, adolescents, and adults.
How long is the typical treatmentIndefiniteIndefinite


What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids.  It helps to increase the intestinal absorption of magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and multiple other biological effects.

Vitamin D is naturally available in very few foods. But the best sources are fish liver oils and fleshy fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

A small amount of Vitamin D is found in cheese, liver, and egg yolks. The human body also produces Vitamin D when exposed to the sun.

Vitamin D is the primary source of Vitamin D3. They are necessary for several reasons for the body.

They help in regulating calcium and maintain phosphorus levels in the blood. The two are essential in keeping healthy bones.

Vitamin D also helps in supporting the immune, brain, and nervous systems. Support cardiovascular health and lung function.

It also impacts the circulation of genes involved in cancer development.

vitamin d

What is Vitamin D3?

Cholecalciferol, or Vitamin D3, is one of the Vitamin D forms. Vitamin D3 needs to be changed by the liver and then by the kidney into the main form of Vitamin D.

After the conversion, it then circulates the body.

Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means the body absorbs fats in its diet.

D3 is more effective as it raises the level of active Vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 can be acquired by spending tie in the sunshine. Eating certain foods and taking supplements is another way you can get Vitamin D3.

It has a positive impact o the mood. When exposed to the sun, some people feel happy because of the synthesis of Vitamin.

It also aids in the progression of prostate tumours. This helps to suppress the development of polyps that could lead to colon cancer.

vitamin d3

Main Differences Between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3


The primary source of Vitamin D is planting wild mushrooms. Fortified foods like cereal products and milk are also good sources of Vitamin D.

It is less expensive to produce.

This is why it is a common vitamin found in fortified foods. Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources.

Egg yolks, liver, fatty fish, and fish oil are the primary sources of D3.

Conditions treated

Vitamin D is used to treat decreased thyroid hormone secretion (hypoparathyroidism). It also treats Vitamin D-resistant rickets and low levels of phosphorus in the blood (hypophosphatemia).

It is used for Vitamin D insufficiency in both recommended and over-the-counter actions. The FDA does not license Vitamin D3 to make any treatments.

All Vitamin D3 is available over the counter.

D3 is, in most cases, used to prevent osteoporosis. It also treats vitamin D deficiency and decreased thyroid hormone secretion.

Coverage and Cost

Commercial and Medicare insurance plans cover most Vitamin D prescriptions. Commercial or Medicare insurance plans do not cover over-the-counter formulations.

Vitamin D3 is over-the-counter; thus, it’s not covered by the insurance plan. The price varies depending on the dosage.

Side effects

Side effects associated with Vitamin D result from hypervitaminosis D. This is a rare condition due to too much intake of Vitamin D.

It’s evident in patients taking a megadose of Vitamin D, leading to Vitamin D poisoning.

This leads to the accumulation of calcium in the blood. The patient will then have nausea, frequent urination, and constipation.

There are no side effects of Vitamin D3.

Difference Between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3
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