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A vitamer of vitamin D formed by a bond breaking of a steroid through the action of UV light on ergosterol


Ergocalciferol is one of the vitamers of vitamin D. Other vitamers are cholecalciferol, 22-dihydroergocalciferol, and sitocalciferol. Ergpcalciferol is a secosteroid. It means it is a steroid compound but it has an open ring. The cleavage on the ring on the ergosterol is caused by a photochemical bond breaking through the action of ultraviolet light.

Ergocalciferol is synthesized artificially and marketed under the names: Drisdol, Deltalin, and Calcidol. Some of the sources of ergocalciferol are lichen Cladina arbuscula, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa), and certain species of mushrooms (e.g. portbello and shiitake). Ergocalciferol is produced synthetically in certain fungal species by exposing ergosterol to irradiation.1 The synthetic ergocalciferol is used as vitamin D supplement. The lack of sufficient vitamin D in the body may result in rickets and osteomalacia.

IUPAC name: (3β,5Z,7E,22E)-9,10-secoergosta-5,7,10(19),22-tetraen-3-ol

Chemical formula: C28</sbub>H44O


  • Drisdol
  • Deltalin
  • Calcidol
  • vitamin D2
  • viosterol

See also:

  • vitamin D
  • cholecalciferol

1 Simon, R. R.; Borzelleca, J. F.; Deluca, H. F.; Weaver, C. M. (2013). "Safety assessment of the post-harvest treatment of button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) using ultraviolet light". Food and Chemical Toxicology 56: 278–89.