Vegan Vitamin D Sources

by | January 19, 2018

What’s a source of Vegan Vitamin D?

Before the days of supplementation and fortified foods, getting enough vitamin D from food was near impossible. Some fatty fish contain vitamin D but you would have eat a ridiculous quantity to meet vegan vitamin D needs.

Even the most common fortified food in the U.S. diet, cow’s milk, doesn’t meet daily needs. It takes 1 ½ quarts to provide the vitamin D RDA. All fortified milks made from almonds, hempseed, rice, and soy, also have this same amount, which is why the dairy industry doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

A deficiency in vitamin D might do more than weaken your bones. A lack of vitamin D has been linked to increased risk for MS, muscle weakness, cancer, and most commonly depression.

When Fun in the Sun doesn’t Make Enough Vegan Vitamin D

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends getting vitamin D from foods and supplements rather than sun exposure because of the risk of skin cancer. Vitamin D from sun light is pretty difficult for modern members of society. While light-skinned people can make enough with 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure per day (at peak sun exposure times), the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need to make vitamin D. It gets harder to make enough vitamin D as you get older. Unfortunately sunscreen blocks the sun’s UV rays, which interferes with vitamin D synthesis.

So while people may try to make it a vegan issue, it’s really not. With the exception of those who eat multiple fatty fish daily, which a majority of omnivores don’t —vitamin D is an issue for all diets. Supplements are the answer for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans.

Supplementation- Vitamin D2 vs. Vitamin D3

Most supplements contain vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol, which is also the type usually added to OJ and breakfast cereal. Generally, vitamin D3 comes from animals, usually from fish oil or from the lanolin in sheep’s wool. Vitamin D2, called ergocalciferol, is obtained from yeast, so it’s vegan. Mushrooms treated with ultraviolet light also produce vitamin D2.

Most studies show that vitamin D2 is as effective as vitamin D3. Both forms of the vitamin are well absorbed and they both raise blood levels of vitamin D. Vegans who are taking vitamin D2 pills daily, in amounts close to the RDA of 600 IUs, this plant-derived form of the vitamin is just as good for preventing deficiencies as vitamin D3.

Vegan Vitamin D Sources


One Response to “Vegan Vitamin D Sources”

  1. Megan
    March 3rd, 2019 @ 9:44 am

    I have gone to endless health food stores and searched online…what brand makes a vegan D for infants? I’m at a loss…

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