Vitamin D supplement advice for vegans

What is the vitamin D supplement advice for vegans? And what else should you know about vitamin D as a vegan? Find out in this article.

What is vitamin D?

Although vitamin D is called a vitamin, it is actually a hormone.

Vitamin D is one of the few ‘vitamins’ that the body can make itself. Vitamin D is formed in the skin under the influence of sunlight. In addition, some food provides vitamin D.

Vitamin D occurs in the diet in 2 forms: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).

Both forms are formed under the influence of ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation). This radiation is part of the sunlight. Vitamin D2 is formed in certain mushrooms and fungi and vitamin D3 in the skin of humans and animals. Therefore, vitamin D3 occurs naturally in foods of animal origin, in particular fatty fish.

Both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are used in supplements and fortified foods. Both forms are active and used in our body. Vitamin D3 does have a slightly stronger effect than vitamin D2.

Which foods contain vitamin D?

Naturally, there is very little vitamin D in food.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and found in fatty products. It is naturally found in oily fish, such as herring, salmon and mackerel. Meat, eggs and butter also provide vitamin D, but less than oily fish.

In some countries, vitamin D is also added to low-fat margarine, margarine and baking and roasting products (but not to oil).

What is vitamin D good for?

Vitamin D has several functions in the body:

  • It is important for calcium and phosphorus absorption and thereby promotes strong bones and teeth.
  • It reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • It plays an important role in maintaining proper muscle function.
  • It is important for the proper functioning of the immune system.

Vitamin D supplement advice for vegans

Throughout the year, make sure that the skin (without sunscreen) is exposed to the sun for 15-30 minutes daily for sufficient vitamin D production.

If you are living in Europe or North America, you can get enough vitamin D from sunshine in the spring and summer if you follow this guideline, but you probably don’t get enough sun in the autumn and winter months.

Therefore, the vitamin D supplement advice for vegans is to take a daily supplement of 25 to 50 mcg/1000 to 2000 IU of lichen-based vitamin D3 in case of non-daily sun exposure in summer and spring, and in any case in the autumn and winter months.

It is wise to take vitamin D during or after a meal, because it is better absorbed taken together with some fat.

Everyone above the age of 70 should take a supplement of 20 micrograms per day, independent of their diet.

Supplements are not always vegan

Please note that vitamin D3 in supplements is usually from animal origin (for example from sheep’s wool fat).

There are also vegan variants, for example made from yeast or lichen.

Usually, the packaging of a supplement states whether it is suitable for vegans. If a supplement does not state that it is plant-based or suitable for vegans, you can generally assume that it is of animal origin.

Do you want to know if you take the right vitamin D supplement?

Please reach out to me and send me a picture of your supplement via e-mail.

I will do a check for free.