Vitamin D2 is a fat-soluble secosteroid known commercially as ergocalciferol. It can be used as a vitamin D supplement and is added to staple foods such as milk. Though it’s considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.
What Is Ergocalciferol?
Ergocalciferol is vitamin D2. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.
Ergocalciferol is used to treat hypoparathyroidism (decreased functioning of the parathyroid glands).
Ergocalciferol is also used to treat rickets (softening of the bones caused by vitamin D deficiency) or low levels of phosphate in the blood (hypophosphatemia).
Possible Side Effects of Ergocalciferol
Although Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) generally regarded as a very safe and effective supplement, there can be some minor side effects. The side effects may:
polyuria, nocturia, polydipsia, hypercalciuria, reversible azotemia, hypertension, nephrocalcinosis, generalized vascular calcification, irreversible renal insufficiency (may be fatal), mental retardation, widespread soft tissue calcification, osteoporosis, dwarfism, vague aches, stiffness, weakness, nausea, anorexia, constipation, mild acidosis, anemia, weight loss.
GRAS Affirmation: Yes
Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) is considered safe.
Special Populations Precaution
There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2).
1. Severe hypercalcemia due to voluntary and dissimulated vitamine D2 poisoning. [Nouv Presse Med. 1976 Oct 30] Author: Scherrer H, Koehl G, Passa P, Canivet J.
2. Vitamine D2 poisoning, modification of renal function. [J Sci Med Lille. 1951 Sep 2] Author: LANGERON L, PAGET M, DANES A, LIEEOOGHE J.