I purchased some vegetarian vitamins, and one of the vitamins was D3. Is there a vegetarian or vegan form of this vitamin? I was told that there are no veggie forms of this vitamin. Is this true?
If not all the time, then most of the time vitamin D3 is animal derived. I think it's usually from lanolin, which is wool oil. Humans do not need D3 and in fact produce enough of their own vitamin D2 when exposed to sunlight. I've read different recommendations from a few different sources, but one I trust, The China Study by T. Colin Campell, says:
"If you know how much sunshine causes a slight redness of your skin, then one-fourth of this amount, provided two to three times per week, is more than adequate to meet our vitamin D needs and to store some in our liver and body fat. If your skin becomes slightly red after about thirty minutes in the sun, then ten minutes, three times per week will be enough exposure to get plenty of vitamin D."
wowie! that as really informative ;D
quote from the position paper from the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada:
"Vitamin D status depends on sunlight exposure and intake of vitamin D fortified foods or supplements. Sun exposure to the face, hands, and forearms for 5 to 15 minutes per day during the summer at the 42nd latitude (Boston) is believed to provide sufficient amounts of vitamin D for light-skinned people (79). Those with dark skin require longer exposure (79). Sun exposure may be inadequate for those living in Canada and at northern latitudes in the United States, especially in winter months, for those in smoggy regions, and for those whose sun exposure is limited. Furthermore, infants, children, and older adults synthesize vitamin D less efficiently (77,79,80). Sunscreen can interfere with vitamin D synthesis, although reports are inconsistent and may depend on amount of sunscreen applied (79,81,82). Low vitamin D levels and reduced bone mass have been observed in some vegan populations at northern latitudes who did not use supplements or fortified foods, particularly children following macrobiotic diets and adult Asian vegetarians (29,83-85).
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is of animal origin, whereas vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is a form acceptable to vegans. Vitamin D2 may be less bioavailable than vitamin D3, which could raise the requirements of vegetarians who depend on D2 supplements to meet vitamin D needs (86). If sun exposure and intake of fortified foods are insufficient, vitamin D supplements are recommended."
See http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/advocacy_933_ENU_HTML.htm for full article.
Also, here's a quote from Vitamin D: The Forgotten Nutrient by Jack Norris, RD
"While not found in many foods, it is usually assumed that people do not need to worry about vitamin D because they get it from sunshine. For many years it was thought that people who got plenty of sun during the summer could store enough vitamin D to make it through the darker months. However, these days most of us go from our house, to our car, to our office building, back to our car, back to our house. And when we are in the sun, we might be wearing sunscreen. Aging and dark skin reduce the efficiency of vitamin D production via sunlight. In fact, recent research is casting doubt on whether people really do store enough for the winter, especially people living in non-tropical climates."
For the full article (which is quite interesting), see: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/vitd