Vitamin d3


Forum Senior
Jun 5, 2018
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  1. Vegan
I thought I'd start a topic here since this question comes up for me again and again whenever I see discussion in the realm of supplementing when you're on a vegan (and vegetarian) diet.

B-12 gets mentioned a lot, which, of course it should, since it's either only available through animal proteins or via supplementation. Of course supplementation is the best route since animals only get their B-12 through supplementation themselves.

But D3 seems to get left out a lot, so I'm curious why that is. (My assumption is people think D3 is easily accessible so does not require supplementation and thus doesn't get mentioned as a necessary supplement for veg*ns.)

I understand your body can produce D3 via sun exposure, however there have been studies that show that sun exposure is not a reliable method. (Often people either live in hemispheres too far away to get the right amount of exposure, or they're stuck indoors all day avoiding winter, or, there comes a risk of skin cancer from sun exposure - and sun block renders sun exposure for D3 ineffective. There was also a study a while ago that showed that even people living in Hawaii had inadequate D3, so even sun exposure in optimal conditions seems to be pretty unreliable.)

Mushrooms contain trace amounts of D3, but you'd probably have to consume unrealistic quantities of them to get enough (I see conflicting studies on these). Otherwise you're relying on foods fortified with D3 like plant milks and tofu, and I guess it depends on the person - maybe some people eat those fortified foods every single day and get enough D3 that way.

In any case, I have to supplement D3. Even when I was lacto-ovo vegetarian I didn't get enough D3 (blood tests revealed this). So, maybe my case is just anecdotal, but I'd think as vegans we should be recommending not only B-12 but D3 to those transitioning over.

Appreciate your thoughts on this.
My doc recommends for me a very high amount of D. I think it has to do with my family medical history - or maybe he is just a big proponent of vitamin D. I don't know, Colitis runs in my family - maybe that is the connection. But now that I'm thinking about it - I should find out.

Vitamin D2 is vegan, but has also been shown not be as effective as D3
Vegan D3 is more expensive. Right now I'm taking this which is $14 at Amazon.

Nature's Plus - Source of Life Garden Organic Vitamin D3 5000 IU, 60 Vegan capsules
I supplement D3 during the dark winter months only. There's always been a lot of controversy over D supplementation. Some experts say definitely supplement, while others say not to. I don't like taking supplements unless it's absolutely necessary. So I feel the spring and summer months provide me with enough natural vitamin D, as I'm outdoors a lot.

Funny we all call it a vitamin, when in actual fact vitamin D is not a vitamin at all, but a hormone that is synthesized by sunlight. Nonetheless, it is still important for our health.

What I always ask myself is how did people survive 100 years ago when these sorts of supplements didn't exist. So we got our vitamin D from the sun, and our B12 naturally through drinking well and/or ground water, etc. So with filtered drinking water, I get the B12 necessity.

Doctor Greger has some videos on D supplementation.

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Reactions: Consistency
Ah yes, I should have checked to see what Dr. Gregor had to say about it. ;) He's always interesting.