Vegan D3? Doubtful
Last November, rumors surfaced that there was a vegan vitamin D3. I’m still occasionally getting questions about it, so I decided to write up what I know.
It appears that these claims have originated with two different brands: MegaFoods and LifeGive.
I could not find anywhere in which MegaFoods is currently claiming that their vitamin D3 is vegan, but it appears that at one time, someone was claiming that it was. Click here for a write-up about how it is not vegan:
They say that their vitamin d3 is from S. cerevisiae, and technically it is- however, they actually take regular old vitamin d made from sheep lanolin that anyone can buy in stores, and they ‘feed’ this vitamin d3 to the yeast in order to ‘Biotransform’ the vitamin d3 into what they claim is an effective and bioavailable form of vitamin d3 that is easily ‘utilized’ by the human body.
If you go to their website, Mega Foods doesn’t claim that their vitamin D3 is vegan. A page at Amazon.com claims that MegaFoods’ vitamin D3 does not come from fish and that it is suitable for vegetarians, which I suppose is technically true if they mean lacto-ovo vegetarians who are willing to use sheep’s lanolin.
This site, Whole Foods Vitamins, sells MegaFood’s Vitamin D3 and explains a bit about it:
Vitamin D-3 DailyFoods is formulated with 100% Cold Fusion FoodState nutrients, developed by Durham Research, Inc.
I’m not sure if that’s important to know, but now we do. Moving on…
LifeGive Sun D
LifeGive Sun-D offers a superior, naturally occurring vegan source of vitamin D3 with vitamin D precursors from Shiitake mushrooms and rice germ ex-tracts. Sun-D offers supplies [sic] pure and powerful plant source of living and life- supporting vitamin D for preventing nutrient deficiencies, supporting good health and preventing the development of threatening health conditions.
On November 18, 2009, I wrote UpayaNaturals to inquire about their product and never got a response. However, a JackNorrisRD.com reader, who also wrote them last November, got a response from the company saying, “All the information comes directly from our supplier’s web page.”
I could not find any more information about LifeGive – the company or their Sun D product.
At this time, no one else knows of any way to create vegan D3 and I would say that this casts doubt on whether LifeGive’s Sun D is truly vegan.
In large, single doses, vitamin D3 may be more effective than D2; but in smaller, sustained doses, D2 appears to be as effective. It might take some time to build up your stores of vitamin D by taking D2. Here are my recommendations.
Nature’s Plus Source of Life Garden Vitamin D3
See below in the comments for a discussion of Nature’s Plus D3. A quick summary is that I was not able to verify whether the lab that tested their D3 distinguished between D2 and D3.