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Vegan Vitamin D
Choosing vegan vitamin D (the vegan vitamin D3 form) has become more common even for people who are not vegan.
The first reason is due to contamination concerns with animal related toxins and allergens that may be present in non vegan vitamin D supplements. Animal sourced vitamin D is typically made from fish oils which may contain traces of toxic heavy metals such as mercury. Even vegetarian vitamin D sources that are usually made from lanolin (the waxy substance extracted from the sheep’s wool) can cause allergic reactions to some people.
The other reason to prefer vegan vitamin D, has to do with the fact that no animals are harmed or abused while making the vegan vitamin D supplements. If you can get all the health benefits from vegan vitamin D without the risks and not hurting other living beings, what reason do you have not to choose vegan vitamin D?
In This Guide
- Vitamin D3 For Vegans.
- Best Vitamin D Supplements.
- Are Vitamin D Supplements Needed?
- Vitamin D Foods For Vegans.
- Vitamin D Dosages.
Vegan Vitamin D3
Vegan vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is the most effective and pure form of vegan vitamin D. It is 100% plant based, extracted from the Lichen plant, free of any toxins, allergens or other artificial components. Vitamin D3 is the same form of vitamin D that is naturally produced in our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D3 was shown by research to be superior to the vitamin D2 form that is found in most vitamin D supplements and vitamin D fortified foods. Vitamin D3 was shown to have better absorption and potency, it becomes active in the body much faster than vitamin D2 and stays longer in the body, making it easier to restore and maintain optimal vitamin D levels (source).
Best Vegan Vitamin D Supplements
To make sure you choose the best vegan vitamin D supplement, here’s a summary of what to look for, and what to watch out for:
- 100% vegan vitamin D3 from Lichen: we tested a very large number of vegan vitamin D supplements. We were very surprised to learn that many respectable brands didn’t mention the source of the vitamin D3 in the label or on their websites. Only after we contacted the companies, we learned that their vitamin D was made from lanolin, making the vitamin D only suitable for vegetarians but not for vegans. The source (Lichen) has to be mentioned in the label.
- Liquid form for optimal absorption.
- Watch for the added ingredients: we see many vegan vitamin D supplements that added artificial flavors, chemicals to “mask” the vitamin D flavor or to make the manufacturing process cheaper. This has been a very serious concern raised by many health authorities, not only because our bodies do not need these toxins, but because these toxins can cause health issues and even cancer.
Suntrex D3 by Dr. Edward Group from Global Healing Center is our preferred choice of a liquid vegan vitamin D supplement, and it has been a part of our natural protocols for immune system and nutrients support for many years.
Here is a summary of our research and experience with Suntrex D3:
- USDA certified organic: Suntrex D3 is one of the only vegan vitamin D supplements on the market that is USDA certified organic. This means that it is made from an from an organic Lichen plant, so there are no traces of toxins such as herbicides, pesticide, GMOs and others. This makes a big difference in terms of purity and quality.
- 100% vegan vitamin D3 exclusively made from organic lichen: No other sources of vitamin D.
- Effectiveness & ease of use: We have found Suntrex D3 to be highly effective and easy to use with a very pleasant taste.
Are Vitamin D Supplements Needed?
Vitamin D supplements are often recommended by the medical community, along with ongoing blood work to make sure your vitamin D levels are in normal range. These guidelines are mainly due to the following reasons:
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause serious health issues.
- Vitamin D deficiency is very common and affects almost 50% of the population worldwide (source).
Vitamin D deficiency can cause many serious health issues, especially regarding the immune system and bones health:
- Vitamin D is a natural antibiotic: according to research, vitamin D has a very powerful natural antibiotic effect in the body by increasing the body’s antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These peptides are potent natural antibiotics that are designed to kill many types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body.
- Vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and teeth: when researchers looked into patients that suffered from hip fractures, they found that 80% of them had low levels of Vitamin D! (source).
What Vegan Foods Are High In Vitamin D?
Getting enough vitamin D on a vegan diet from natural whole foods is possible. It can be however challenging.
The only vegan foods that are high in vitamin D are mushrooms that were exposed to UVB light and foods that were fortified with vitamin D.
But are these foods offer an effective reliable way to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D on a vegan diet?
- Mushrooms that were exposed to light (either natural sunlight or grown indoor using lamps that emitted UVB radiation) were shown in a few studies to contain high levels of vitamin D. The form of the vitamin D in mushrooms is vitamin D2 which is not as potent as the D3 form. (source). The research data suggests that the vitamin D levels in mushrooms entirely depend on the way the mushrooms were grown. For this reason, mushrooms may not be ideal as a reliable single source of vitamin D on a vegan diet.
- Fortified foods: vegan foods that are fortified with vegan vitamin D are very common: soy milk, almond milk, plant based drinks, orange juice, fortified cereals with vitamin D, and many others. It is important to understand that these foods do not have naturally occurring vitamin D in them. The vitamin D was added the same way you can open a capsule of vitamin D and mix the powder with your smoothies. Most of the vegan vitamin D fortified foods use low levels of the less potent vegan vitamin D2 form (Ergocalciferol), so you may not be getting enough vitamin D from these foods and drinks.
Vitamin D Dosages
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D dosage typically goes between 400 IU – 800 IU per day (see table below). You may however need to increase or decrease your vitamin D dosage based on your individual levels, especially if you have limited sun exposure, at a risk of Osteoporosis, or on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
We get many questions on this topic. Vegans and vegetarians may be at a greater risk to have low levels of vitamin D. It does not however mean that if you are vegan vegetarian you have low levels. For this reason, we highly recommend to ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels, and adjust the vitamin D dosage if needed.
According to the U.S. department of national institutes of health (NIH), the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for vitamin D (source):
|0–12 months||400 IU|
|1–13 years||600 IU|
|14–18 years||600 IU|
|19–50 years||600 IU|
|51–70 years||600 IU|
|>70 years||800 IU|
Is vitamin D suitable for vegans?
The best vegan vitamin D is the vitamin D3 form that is extracted from the Lichen plant. Vitamin D3 is the same form of vitamin D that is naturally produced in our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight. Lichen vitamin D3 is considered the best vitamin D that is suitable for vegans, much more effective than the vegan vitamin D2 form (Ergocalciferol).
Another form of vitamin D3 that is suitable for vegetarians is made from lanolin (the waxy substance extracted from the sheep’s wool). Vitamin d3 lanolin however, is not considered vegan.
Vitamin D Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are not considered good sources of vitamin D. Mushrooms that were exposed to light (either natural sunlight or grown indoor using lamps that emitted UVB radiation) were shown in a few studies to contain high levels of vitamin D.
The research data suggests that the vitamin D levels in mushrooms entirely depend on the way the mushrooms were grown.
For this reason, mushrooms may not be ideal as a reliable single source of vitamin D on a vegan diet.
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