Vitamin D Compounds

Vitamin D comes in many formulations, including multivitamin preparations, fish liver oils with or without vitamin A, combinations with calcium salts, and vitamin D preparations alone. Most forms of vitamin D contain either cholecalciferol (D3) or ergocalciferol (D2).

Cholecalciferol is pure vitamin D3 derived from the ultraviolet conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholecalciferol. Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) is a sterol derived from yeast and fungal ergosterol. Calcitriol [Rocaltrol, 1,25-(OH)2D3] is the metabolically active vitamin D3 compound. Dihydrotachysterol is a synthetic compound that may act somewhat more quickly than either vitamin D2 or D3.

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