I know a lot of people who are vegetarians, and because they are vegetarians, they would rather take Vitamin D2 than Vitamin D3, since Vitamin D2 is a non-animal product derived from irradiated mushrooms whereas Vitamin D3 is an animal product derived from the lanolin of sheep. But, I really think it's a good idea to make an exception in this case because Vitamin D3 is natural Vitamin D, cholecalciferol, identical to what your body produces from sunlight. But, D2 is a foreign chemical, a drug with some Vitamin-D-like properties, but it is not the real thing.
An analogy can be made to the drug Progestin, which is a synthetic analogue of Progesterone but not identical to it. It causes lots of problem for women and has lots of risk, whereas natural, bio-identical Progesterone is very safe. And it's the same thing here: Vitamin D3 is natural, bio-identical Vitamin D.
This article just came out about muscule damage in athletes taking Vitamin D2, but it is hardly the first article of its kind. The disruptive dysfunctionality of Vitamin D2 within the human body has been known for years- make that decades. Nobody should be consuming it.
Taking supplemental Vitamin D is a very good idea because practically no one can reach an optimal blood level through sunlight alone. Plus, there is very little Vitamin D in foods, and what little there is occurs only in animal foods. It's true that milk and other foods are often fortified with Vitamin D, but guess what? They almost always use Vitamin D2! So, that's no good either.
I don't eat meat, and I have no desire to. But, I do take Vitamin D3. If that sounds like a contradiction, then so be it! That's because this is very important. Vitamin D has the potential to make the difference between life and death. Vitamin D, among other things, is an anti-cancer compound. It has the ability to destroy cancer cells at their earliest formation. Who doesn't want that working for them? Just be practical about this. I strongly urge you to do so. Now, here is the new artcle:
Results from a new study show that vitamin D2 may not be beneficial to muscle health in athletes.
There is ongoing study about the difference in effects of vitamin D3 versus vitamin D2 on human health. Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D that humans produce from sun exposure. Vitamin D2 is a form of vitamin D produced by certain plant species, like mushrooms. Supplement manufacturers make both kinds, but vitamin D3 is more commonly produced and found on store shelves.
In recent years, researchers have found that vitamin D3 may be more beneficial of the two and have questioned the use of vitamin D2.
Recently, researchers at the Appalachian State University in North Carolina set out to see the effects of vitamin D2 supplementation on reducing exercise-induced inflammation and muscle damage in athletes.
The research team recruited NASCAR pit crew members for the study. Pit crew members often undergo intense weight lifting and other muscle related exercise during their job.
They conducted a double blind randomized controlled trial study on pit crew members for six weeks. During the six weeks, the pit crew members either took 3,800 IU/day of vitamin D2 or a placebo.
They found that the pit crew members taking vitamin D2 had increased muscle damage compared to those taking a placebo.
“This is the first time research has shown that vitamin D2 supplementation is associated with higher muscle damage after intense weight lifting, and thus cannot be recommend for athletes,” said lead researcher Dr. David Nieman.
Based on their results, Dr. Nieman suggests that something is occurring at the muscle level with vitamin D2 that specifically worsens muscle damage.
“High vitamin D2 levels are not a normal experience for the human body,” Dr. David Nieman stated. “Taking high doses of vitamin D2 caused something to happen at the muscle that isn’t in the best interest of the athletes.”
During the study, those who took vitamin D2 had their vitamin D3 levels decrease, which is one theory for why vitamin D2 increased muscle damage.