All about vegan vitamin D
Following a vegan diet requires a lot of research and care. There are many questions you should ask yourself while following a vegan diet. For example, how can vegans get vitamin? What type of vitamin D should vegans take? This guide should shine some light on the vegan lifestyle and how to pair it with the sunshine vitamin.
Vegans and vitamin D
- Vitamin D helps absorb calcium from the diet and is important for bone and teeth health
- Many people, not just vegans, need to consider the importance of vitamin D
- As with many nutrients, those following a vegan lifestyle need to carefully plan their meals to include sources of vitamin D
- Research indicates that vegans have a 30-37 per cent higher fracture rate than meat-eaters and lacto-ovo vegetarians 
What type of vitamin D should vegans take?
- There are two kinds of vitamin D used in supplements and food fortification: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), the vegan form, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the form derived from animals and/or fish
- Researchers estimate that vitamin D3 is approximately 1.7 to 3 times more potent than vitamin D2 (yeast/mushroom form)
- Vitamin D2 breaks down in the body more quickly than vitamin D3, so those taking a vitamin D2 supplement may need to diligently follow a regular daily supplement routine (vs. taking their vitamin D supplement as a bolus dose) 
- Most vitamin D supplement products in Canada, including traditional Ddrops®, contain vitamin D3(cholecalciferol) – derived from animals (typically from sheep lanolin)
- Non-animal sourced vegan versions of vitamin D supplements (vitamin D2) can be more difficult to find
It’s not easy…
- Sunlight on uncovered skin provides a natural supply of vitamin D. Skin pigmentation, age, cloud cover, time of year and northern latitudes make sunshine an inconsistent option for many people 
- With food sources, check your labels! Soy milk is fortified with vitamin D2, the vegan form of vitamin D, while cereals, juice, and margarine are more likely to be fortified with vitamin D3 derived from sheep’s wool
- Dairy products made from milk, such as cheese and ice cream, are usually not suitable for a vegan diet and are also generally not fortified with vitamin D 
- Vitamin D fortification of milk alternatives like soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and goat’s milk are not regulated
- In a Canadian study, children’s vitamin D blood levels dropped by 3% for each cup of non–cow’s milk beverage consumed.
- Mushrooms contain a vitamin D precursor ergosterol, and can contain some vitamin D2, but the amount is not consistent as it varies depending on UV light exposure
- Edible mushrooms in most grocery stores, such as white button, crimini, portabella, are not likely to contain enough vitamin D2 (under 20 IU per 100 g) because they have been grown with limited UV light 
- Many gel capsules and gummy-style supplements contain gelatin, which is derived from animal sources, such as pork and beef
Vegan Ddrops® are easy!
- Each drop of Vegan Ddrops®contains vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) 1000 IU (25 mcg)
- The vitamin D2 in Vegan Ddrops® is purified from nutritional yeast that is exposed to UV light
- Both Vegan Ddrops® and the traditional Ddrops® line contain a thin oil blend of purified components of coconut oil
- Vegan Ddrops® have no taste, so they can be licked off a clean surface or taken with any food or drink
- All Ddrops® contain no preservatives, no artificial flavours and no added colour
- All Ddrops® are wheat-free, gluten-free, corn-free, sugar-free, milk-free, and peanut-free
- Vegan Ddrops® products can be easily taken with you wherever you go, as they do not require refrigeration
 Appleby P, Roddam A, Allen N, Key T. Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;61(12):1400-6. Epub 2007 Feb 7.
 Weiler, H. Vitamin D. The Current State in Canada. Prepared for Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition August 2008. https://www.cfdr.ca/Downloads/CCFN-docs/Vitamin-D-Report—final—Aug3-08-revAug9-_2_.aspx
 Holick M. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(suppl):1678S-1688S.
 Vitamin D. Fact sheet for Health Professionals. NIH Updated Feb 11 2016. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
 Lee, Grace J, et al. Consumption of Non–Cow’s Milk Beverages and Serum Vitamin D Levels in Early Childhood. © 2014 Canadian Medical Association, 18 Nov. 2014.
 Feeney, MJ, et al. MushroomsVBiologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique Exploring a “Third Food Kingdom”. Nutr Today. 2014 Nov; 49(6): 301–307. Published online 2014 Dec 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4244211/