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Deciphering Vitamin D Types with Functional Medicine and Toronto IV Therapy


In our IV therapy Toronto lounge, we frequently stress the importance of vitamin D in the human body. Essential vitamins like this hold imperative roles in optimal function, which can affect immune health, the functioning of nerves, cognitive function, muscle health, and more. 

You’re likely familiar with this vitamin’s nickname, the “sunshine vitamin”, as the sun is the main source of our natural vitamin D production. Populations that reside near the equator tend to have frequent sun exposure and can achieve optimal levels of this nutrient. But in areas situated further away (i.e. Canada), sun exposure can be infrequent. We published an article about reasons why you may be lacking vitamin D. We urge readers to read it.

Because vitamin D holds significance in our functioning, Canadians should pay attention to this nutrient intake; after all, we spend ample time indoors during the winter seasons! And vitamin D holds a wide range of beneficial effects, with studies suggesting it offers protection against infections and some diseases, including different types of cancers, diabetes, and dementia. 

In this article, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) provides a brief summary of what vitamin D does, how to decipher the different types, and details about our clinic.  

Quick recap: What does vitamin D do? 

    • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient and a hormone. It helps the human body absorb and sustain calcium and phosphorus; this means that this vitamin is mandatory for maintaining the health of bones, especially for preventing osteoporosis. Without it, we can be susceptible to bone weakness.  
    • Optimal amounts of this vitamin are needed in the human body for controlling blood sugar levels and promoting blood pressure regulation. Vitamin D also helps foster cardiovascular health. 
    • It could contribute to supporting mood in people prone to depression: “If exercising outdoors in the sunshine, eating foods rich in vitamin D, and/or taking dietary supplements to improve vitamin D deficiency could improve one’s mental wellbeing, it would be a simple and cost-effective solution for many who are at risk for…mental disorders,” explains an article from Issues in Mental Health Nursing
    • This specific nutrient deficiency is experienced by half of the global population! It may happen due to malabsorption (the poor absorption of nutrients), lack of sun exposure, not eating enough nutrient-rich food, and consuming certain medications. Thus, regular oral supplementation combined with a healthy diet of D-rich foods (salmon, dairy, fortified items) is necessary for sustaining these nutrient levels. 

What’s the difference between vitamin D2 and D3? 

You’ve likely seen these supplements on store shelves, and the labels usually indicate that it’s either D2 or D3. Do you know the difference between them? Take a look below: 

    • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): From plant sources and mushrooms raised in areas with UV lights; used to fortify foods (i.e. cereal). 
    • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): A bioavailable vitamin found in animal sources, such as fish and egg yolk. D3 is formed naturally in your skin due to sun exposure. 

So, which one should you take as an oral supplementation? This really depends on your current health status and health goals, and a functional medicine healthcare provider can be consulted. 

Here’s why additional advice may be needed: D2 and D3 are metabolized differently in our bodies. Both of the D’s are metabolized into compounds called calcifediol, which is form of vitamin D. However, studies have shown that D2 tends to result in a low amount of calcifediol in the blood compared to D3. This can be discerning if you want to alleviate a vitamin D nutritional deficiency in a timely manner. But since both D2 and D3 serve similar roles in the body, their primary distinction lies in their sources: vitamin D2 is derived from plants, whereas D3 originates from animals and humans. 

Thus, a customized approach to wellness can be opted for targeting your vitamin D levels, while promoting other health benefits. Please consult with a TFMC healthcare provider to test your current vitamin D levels and to recuperate any other health concerns with a tailored treatment service. If you currently suffer from malabsorption, we may recommend supportive measures outside of oral supplementation, such as therapeutic doses of vitamin D booster shots.  

About our IV therapy treatments

If you’ve plateaued in your wellness improvements, have you thought about personalizing a treatment plan? The integrative functional medicine model can help target chief health concerns by examining the core components of your individuality. When functional medicine treatments are adapted for your needs, this could potentially improve energy levels, immune function, muscle recovery, liver detoxification, mental clarity, and your overall quality of life. 

At the TFMC, a functional medicine healthcare provider can tailor treatment modalities for your biological shortcomings (i.e. mineral deficiencies), for upgrading an athletic performance, to help alleviate brain fog, or simply for disease prevention. These treatments may include Western medicine, naturopathy, holistic nutrition, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, hormone replacement therapies, injection therapies, IV therapy, and other modalities. Treatments can be adapted for certain health goals linked to fertility treatments, chronic fatigue syndrome, hormonal imbalances, fatty liver disease, the effects of chemotherapy, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune conditions. 

Intravenous therapy (IV therapy drips) is dispensed in our IV Lounge, which is inside our Yorkville clinic. Our intravenous drips are freshly compounded without preservatives, and sessions are overseen by our wellness team. Doses of nutrients (for vitamin injections and IV drip therapy) are personalized with the functional medicine model, which means every drip compounded is designed for each individual patient’s personal needs! Our menu contains an array of natural ingredients, including our popular high-dose vitamin C drip (ascorbic acid), alpha lipoic acid, trace minerals, protein building blocks (amino acids with glutamic acid), vitamin A, vitamin E, and nutrients with antioxidant properties (i.e. glutathione). Vitamin D injections can be prescribed in our IV Lounge, too. 

In addition to functional medicine therapy treatments and healthy daily activities (i.e. exercise), IV therapy from Toronto can foster optimal health. Ask us to book your initial visit today!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media. 



Holick MF. Vitamin D status: measurement, interpretation, and clinical application. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Feb;19(2):73-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2007.12.001. Epub 2008 Mar 10. PMID: 18329892; PMCID: PMC2665033.

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium; Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, et al., editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 3, Overview of Vitamin D. Available from:

Mehta V, Agarwal S (February 17, 2017) Does Vitamin D Deficiency Lead to Hypertension?. Cureus 9(2): e1038. doi:10.7759/cureus.1038

Penckofer S, Kouba J, Byrn M, Estwing Ferrans C. Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Jun;31(6):385-93. doi: 10.3109/01612840903437657. PMID: 20450340; PMCID: PMC2908269.

Romagnoli E, Mascia ML, Cipriani C, Fassino V, Mazzei F, D’Erasmo E, Carnevale V, Scillitani A, Minisola S. Short and long-term variations in serum calciotropic hormones after a single very large dose of ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) or cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) in the elderly. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Aug;93(8):3015-20. doi: 10.1210/jc.2008-0350. Epub 2008 May 20. PMID: 18492750.

Tripkovic L, Lambert H, Hart K, Smith CP, Bucca G, Penson S, Chope G, Hyppönen E, Berry J, Vieth R, Lanham-New S. Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;95(6):1357-64. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031070. Epub 2012 May 2. PMID: 22552031; PMCID: PMC3349454.

Vitamin D” fact sheet for consumers, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), updated November 8, 2022, viewed on January 21, 2024. 

Vitamin D Deficiency”, from the Cleveland Clinic, reviewed August 2, 2022, viewed on January 20, 2024. 

What’s the Deal with Vitamin D?” from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, posted on August 24, 2022, viewed on January 20, 2024. 


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