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A better vegan vitamin D supplement


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I bought some from Veganessentials a little less than two weeks ago I'm gonna pick em up today or tomorrow. I've been looking for a good vitamin d supplement for a long long time and was really happy to find this.

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Hrmm... I don't like taking supplements and wanted to find a more food-based way of getting more Vitamin D (it's been raining here for a week and I'm definitely feeling the effects of a lack of sun exposure... I've always been that way, it's weird).

 

I've been looking around for 'natural' sources of Vitamin D but all I seem to be finding are fish/meat/dairy products... any suggestions as to how a vegan could get their Vit. D from food??

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Hrmm... I don't like taking supplements and wanted to find a more food-based way of getting more Vitamin D (it's been raining here for a week and I'm definitely feeling the effects of a lack of sun exposure... I've always been that way, it's weird).

 

I've been looking around for 'natural' sources of Vitamin D but all I seem to be finding are fish/meat/dairy products... any suggestions as to how a vegan could get their Vit. D from food??

 

There aren't any.

 

Fish has some. Dried shiitake mushrooms have very small amounts and that vitamin d is d2,which you have to get in larger amounts. Probably more mushrooms than you can eat. Everything else you see with vitamin d, food wise, is fortified ( supplements ).

Edited by beforewisdom
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Hrmm... I don't like taking supplements and wanted to find a more food-based way of getting more Vitamin D I've been looking around for 'natural' sources of Vitamin D but all I seem to be finding are fish/meat/dairy products... any suggestions as to how a vegan could get their Vit. D from food??

Good luck with that, vitamin D is produced almost exclusively by animals. I don't think any plant contain it but some mushrooms do. Not sure in what quantity they contain it, but apparently we can absorb them quite well: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9925129?dopt=Abstract

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Not to rain on anyone's parade but my personal experience and studies have shown that D2 is not equivalent to D3:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/health/research/31aging.html?emc=eta1 - just the most recent I've read.

 

You don't know your levels unless you take a 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood level test. I've been taking 1,400 units of D2 for years and my most recent level was 12 (optimal is 50-90). I get sunlight during the summer months but there is not enough year round in this area to support a healthy vit D level without supplementation. As far as I'm concerned, this may just be an instance where there is not a vegan option unless you live in a high sun exposure area.

 

From the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements comes this paragraph that may describe a future where finding foods fortified with vit D2 may become more difficult:

 

Dietary supplements

In supplements and fortified foods, vitamin D is available in two forms, D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is manufactured by the UV irradiation of ergosterol in yeast, and vitamin D3 is manufactured by the irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol from lanolin and the chemical conversion of cholesterol [11]. The two forms have traditionally been regarded as equivalent based on their ability to cure rickets, but evidence has been offered that they are metabolized differently. Vitamin D3 could be more than three times as effective as vitamin D2 in raising serum 25(OH)D concentrations and maintaining those levels for a longer time, and its metabolites have superior affinity for vitamin D-binding proteins in plasma [6,32,33]. Because metabolite receptor affinity is not a functional assessment, as the earlier results for the healing of rickets were, further research is needed on the comparative physiological effects of both forms. Many supplements are being reformulated to contain vitamin D3 instead of vitamin D2 [33]. Both forms (as well as vitamin D in foods and from cutaneous synthesis) effectively raise serum 25(OH)D levels [6].

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This study goes into some more detail regarding D2 vs. D3: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/89/11/5387

 

It would appear that D2 is only 10-30% as effective as D3. That article cites a reference that 2000 IU/day is already considered too low, but the source doesn't appear to say that--instead saying that 200 IU/day is insufficient.

 

It also seems that D2 doesn't last nearly as long as D3 in the body. The initial response is similar but D2's effect on 25(OH)D trails off almost immediately.

 

This is definitely concerning for those deficient in Vitamin D. Participants in that study had wildly different levels of 25(OH)D to begin with, without much explanation.

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  • 1 month later...

Michael Hollick, the guy who first identified 25(OH)D, published a study that showed D2 to be as effective as D3. Just another data point, this doesn't exactly invalidate previous studies simply because it was done more recently. If you have a subscription to the journal, check out the full article. There's some decent discussion at the end with regard to the other studies' results.

 

Context: Two reports suggested that vitamin D2 is less effective than vitamin D3 in maintaining vitamin D status.

 

Objective: Our objective was to determine whether vitamin D2 was less effective than vitamin D3 in maintaining serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels or increased the catabolism of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.

 

Subjects and Design: This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study of healthy adults ages 18–84 yr who received placebo, 1000 IU vitamin D3, 1000 IU vitamin D2, or 500 IU vitamin D2 plus 500 IU vitamin D3 daily for 11 wk at the end of the winter.

 

Results: Sixty percent of the healthy adults were vitamin D deficient at the start of the study. The circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (mean ± SD) increased to the same extent in the groups that received 1000 IU daily as vitamin D2 (baseline 16.9 ± 10.5 ng/ml; 11 wk 26.8 ± 9.6 ng/ml), vitamin D3 (baseline 19.6 ± 11.1 ng/ml; 11 wk 28.9 ± 11.0 ng/ml), or a combination of 500 IU vitamin D2 and 500 IU vitamin D3 (baseline 20.2 ± 10.4 ng/ml; 11 wk 28.4 ± 7.7 ng/ml). The 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels did not change in the group that received 1000 IU vitamin D2 daily. The 1000 IU dose of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 did not raise 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in vitamin D-deficient subjects above 30 ng/ml.

 

Conclusion: A 1000 IU dose of vitamin D2 daily was as effective as 1000 IU vitamin D3 in maintaining serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and did not negatively influence serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels. Therefore, vitamin D2 is equally as effective as vitamin D3 in maintaining 25-hydroxyvitamin D status.

(http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/93/3/677)

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I appreciate that there is another study out there. I'm very disappointed that it is a study that shows 1,000 units per day of D2 or D3 is inadequate to increase deficient serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. We already knew that unfortunately. The study that interests me is which form of D maintains an adequate level and at what dose.

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It seems to me as D2 is as effective as D3 but none of them are effective enough, at least not in our dosages. I think I'm gonna save money and travel someplace sunny during the winter.

Also, I've been meaning to look up solariums and vitamin D production. I'm not suggesting to go to them often but if they acctually make us produce vitmain D like the sun or nearly as effective it might be worth the risks.

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The relative potencies of vitamins D(2) and D(3) were evaluated by administering single doses of 50,000 IU of the respective calciferols to 20 healthy male volunteers, following the time course of serum vitamin D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) over a period of 28 d and measuring the area under the curve of the rise in 25OHD above baseline.The two calciferols produced similar rises in serum concentration of the administered vitamin,indicating equivalent absorption. Both produced similar initial rises in serum 25OHD over the first 3 d, but 25OHD continued to rise in the D(3)-treated subjects, peaking at 14 d, whereas serum 25OHD fell rapidly in the D(2)-treated subjects and was not different from baseline at 14 d.

 

(Armas LA, Hollis BW, Heaney RP. Vitamin D2 is much less effective than vitamin D3 in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Nov;89(11):5387-91.)

 

So basically, take D2 more often and at higher levels than D3 according to this study. The primary difference in most studies seems to be the length at which the two vitamins stay in your body.

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i take 800iu in summer and 2000iu in winter, vitaminD (D3) every day that along with 500mcg B12 and a multiV, its a MUST when vegetarian or vegan. sadly its not all gonna come from apples,nuts,carrots ect. so i have to suck it up and take my supps.

i try to stay as animale free as i can but am not going to get sick or die from it.

im not 100% vegan but am close to it. not nuff to call myself one but a vegitarian yes.

i try to get as much out of food as i can. but the depression in winter used to be almost borderline sucidal before i started getting into bodybuilding and taking my vitamins.

now its not so bad but i still HATE IT! :'-(

 

dammit doc's tell you, you go in the sun you gonna die and if you dont your gonna die ?? i like me some sun >B-( RANT OVER! sry lol

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So basically, take D2 more often and at higher levels than D3 according to this study. The primary difference in most studies seems to be the length at which the two vitamins stay in your body.
Right, a few studies have shown that D2 is less effective than D3, but not ineffective. As DV points out, though, there's no studies that show the proper dosing of D2 to achieve desired 25(OH)D levels, so this is unfortunately still conjecture.
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So basically, take D2 more often and at higher levels than D3 according to this study. The primary difference in most studies seems to be the length at which the two vitamins stay in your body.
Right, a few studies have shown that D2 is less effective than D3, but not ineffective. As DV points out, though, there's no studies that show the proper dosing of D2 to achieve desired 25(OH)D levels, so this is unfortunately still conjecture.

 

Yeah, true. Hopefully we will see some evidence as to the amount we should be taking soon, with all these vitamin D studies coming out.

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