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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Vitamin D from the Expert, Dr. Michael Holick. How Much Do We Need? Why Is It So Hard to Get Enough? What About Breast-Fed Babies? Why Is It So Important for Good Health?


As this article was through a link at Veg Source, I was surprised it didn't address the "D3 issue" - that it is an animal-based vitamin, that it is in virtually all supermarket organic milk and most organic milk products . . . so I was happy to see the first comment (green3r) mention Vitamin D2 which is vegetarian.
This is BIG for me, as I've had melanoma, and basal- AND squamous-cell carcinomas, and two major operations, one on my face. (All is well, skin-grafts all but invisible, but still.)
So can you please put together some information on the level of this article, addressing this for us?
Especially because of the milk issue, it is extremely important to ethically based vegetarians.
Though I only use it for coffee, and research the dairy-farm sources of the milk, etc., milk is the last hold-out before going all vegan. But many people use full dairy regularly, and support on the vitamin D issue could have major effects on change.

Hello Ameliaus,

Yes, you are right. Vitamin D3 is made usually from lanolin, an animal product.

Until recently, physicians were recommending that D3 was superior, which is problematic for vegetarians.

In my post I mentioned that Dr. Holick had completed recent research that showed that D2 was able to raise the blood levels of vitamin D to a level equivalent to that of D3. There was no difference. It didn't matter--which should be good news for you.

Here's the link to his article:

"Vitamin D2 is as effective as vitamin D3 in maintaining circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D."

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Mar;93(3):677-81. Epub 2007 Dec 18.

Here's an explanation of the differences between D2 & D3:

Explain the difference between D2 and D3. Is D3 superior?

D2 was commonly used in the U.S. because it was approved as a pharmaceutical in 1911. But Dr. Bruce Hollis doesn't like to use it. It's unnatural. It comes from yeast. It's functional, but D3 is preferable, and it's very easy to get these days. If you have the option--Hollis says, "Use D3".

So there you have it. If you want to avoid D3, D2 will work just fine!

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