The Nation's Health + vitamin D

Vitamin D2 rip-offs

Here's a sampling of prescription vitamin D2/ergocalciferol products available:


Prescription ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) (Drisdol brand), 50 caps for $130.84.


Alfcip brand of erogocalciferol (vitamin D), 30 capsules for $28.20.


Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as Drisdol oral solution, 1 bottle $146.26.

How about vitamin D3/cholecalciferol ?


Carlson's brand cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), 120 capsules $5.09.

Cholecalciferol, vitamin D3, is far less expensive than ergocalciferol, vitamin D2. Cholecalciferol is available as a supplement without prescription. Ergocalciferol is available only by prescription.

The price difference must mean that the plant-based form, ergocalciferol, must be far superior to the naturally-occurring human form, vitamin D3.

Of course, that's not true. Dr. Robert Heaney's study is just one of several documenting the inferiority of D2/ergocalciferol, Vitamin D2 Is Much Less Effective than Vitamin D3 in Humans. D2 exerted less than a third of the effect of D3.

In my experience, D2/ergocalciferol often exerts no effect whatsoever . One woman I consulted on came into the office having been prescribed Drisdol capsules, 50,000 units every day for the past 18 months (by mistake by her physician). Blood level of active 25-OH-vitamin D3: Zero .

But the pharmacy and drug manufacturer collected $1413 for her 18-month course. Cost for a 4000 unit per day dose of D3/cholecalciferol: $45 --and it would have actually worked.

In my view, prescription vitamin D2 is yet another example of drug manufacturer scams, a product that provides no advantages, costs more, but yields bigger profits.

Yet this wonderful supplement called cholecalciferol, among which Carlson's is an excellent choice, is available to you inexpensively, without prescription, and actually provides the benefits you desire.

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Relevant to: Vitamin D2 rip-offs + vitamin D