Growing up, we heard the same mantra over and over again: “Drink milk! Get lots of calcium! Calcium builds strong bones!” Calcium does help build strong bones and teeth, but it’s not the only factor. In fact, you could get all the calcium in the world and still have brittle bones if you’re not getting one key nutrient in your diet. To absorb the calcium, your body needs one important ingredient: vitamin D.
Getting enough vitamin D in your diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, it might not seem important now, but as you get older, you’ll realize the importance of having strong, healthy bones. Vitamin D prevents brittle bone diseases like osteoporosis and reduces the likelihood of breaks and fractures. Studies have shown that vitamin D can reduce the risk of certain diseases like rickets and multiple sclerosis, and can treat skin diseases like psoriasis when applied topically. Getting enough vitamin D can even keep you sharp and alert as you grow older, as well as prevent various cancers. It’s essentially a “wonder vitamin” that covers a wide spectrum of illnesses.
How Can I Get Vitamin D in My Diet?
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when you’re exposed to the sunlight. This is great in the summertime, but when winter arrives, you’ll have to turn to outside sources to make sure you’re getting all the vitamin D your body needs. Some people get their vitamin D by eating nutrient-rich foods like fish, milk, and butter. Unfortunately, most of these options are off-limits to vegans, although there are a few vegan-friendly options like mushrooms and orange juice.
You can also get more vitamin D in your diet by taking a daily supplement. This option is easiest for most vegans, although it poses its own set of problems. Before you start taking a supplement, talk to a doctor and see how much vitamin D you need in your diet. Getting too much vitamin D can be dangerous and lead to side effects like nausea, vomiting, weight loss, constipation, and even kidney damage. Vitamin D can also react negatively with certain medications, so make sure your doctor knows what kind of medicine you’ve been taking.
If you’re approved for a supplement, you’ll find plenty of affordable options on the market. But before you start shopping, you need to be aware of the important distinction between vitamins d2 and d3.
What’s the Difference Between Vitamins D2 and D3?
For non-vegans, the difference is negligible unless they have an allergy. But for vegans, choosing the right vitamin is massively important for maintaining the vegan lifestyle. Vitamin D2 is derived from plants that were exposed to UV light, while vitamin D3 is sourced from animals. Vitamin D3 typically comes from either fish oil or lanolin, which is a greasy substance secreted by sheep. But while vitamin D2 is synthesized from plants, this doesn’t mean that all vitamin D2 supplements are vegan. Some capsules contain trace amounts of animal products like gelatin, so make sure you always check the ingredient list on the back of the label so you know exactly what you’re getting.
While both types of supplements are effective, studies have shown that vitamin D3 produces much higher levels of calcifediol, which is the active form of vitamin D that circulates in your bloodstream. In some studies, vitamin D3 has even been shown to be twice as effective as vitamin D2. For this reason, your doctor might specifically prescribe vitamin D3 to treat certain health conditions.
Why Should I Switch to a Vegan Vitamin D Supplement?
Of all the animal products in the world, fish oil and lanolin might seem like some of the least harmful. The sheep aren’t being killed for their lanolin, so does it really hurt anybody if I consume it? Fish oil is trickier, but it seems more like a by-product of the fishing industry than a root cause. If fish are being killed anyway, why not use it instead of letting it go to waste?
In the media, the wool industry is often presented as a “cruelty-free” contrast to the meat and dairy industries. The sheep run and play in a field all day long, and when their coats get too heavy, the farmer carefully shears it off and sends the sheep back into the field to run and play some more. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Cruelty-free sheep farms do exist, but commercial farms shear the sheep brutally with no concern for their well-being. They slice off the wool as quickly as possible, often cutting the sheep’s skin in the process. The sheep are forced to undergo painful surgeries with no anesthetic, including tail docking and castration. And once they’re no longer good for making wool, they’re crammed into trucks and shipped off to the slaughterhouse. Once they arrive, their throats are slit, often while they’re still conscious.
And the fish industry is no better. Contrary to popular belief, fish are intelligent animals who are capable of feeling pain, fear, and confusion. Every year, billions of fish are captured from the ocean or bred in captive “aquafarms” which are rampant with disease and pestilence. When it’s time for harvest, the fish are beaten, sliced, and cut open while they’re still alive. Countless fish die before they’re slaughtered due to stress, starvation, and the diseases that run rampant in close quarters.
In addition to these environmental concerns, vegan supplements are also simply better for you. Like most vegan products, they’re typically made from safe, all-natural ingredients with few (if any) artificial chemicals or additives. They’re also great for people with allergies, as most vegan supplements are allergen-, lactose-, and gluten-free. When you take vegan supplements, you know you’re getting nutrients that were extracted directly from the source, not synthesized in a lab.
What Makes a Good Vitamin D2 Supplement?
When you’re looking for a vitamin D2 supplement, make sure it specifically says “Vitamin D2” on the bottle, not just “Vitamin D.” Countless vegans have bought vitamin D supplements, thinking they were cruelty-free, only to realize that they were made with gelatin or sourced from animal products. And even some vitamin D2 supplements contain animal products, so make sure you read the ingredients so you know exactly what you’re getting. The best brands are derived directly from organic plant-based sources, like mushrooms that were exposed to UV light.
Is It Possible to Find a Vegan Vitamin D3 Supplement?
If you have certain conditions, your doctor might specifically prescribe vitamin D3 to supplement your calcium intake. While most vitamin D3 supplements are animal-based, there are quite a few vegan products on the market that are sourced from lichen or (less commonly) coconut oil. Vitamin D3 that was sourced from lichen is just as effective as traditional vitamin D3 products.
Where Can I Find Vegan Vitamin D Supplements?
You might be able to find vegan vitamin D2 supplements at your local grocery store. However, most of the products on the shelf will be made with animal products, so always read the label so you know what you’re getting. You can also check your local vitamin store or health food store. If you don’t have any luck, there are hundreds of options online to choose from. You can either buy directly from the source or browse Amazon, which has dozens of vegan supplements that range from $15 to $30 a bottle.
What are the Best Vegan D2 Supplements on Amazon?
With so many options on the market, it can be hard to find the best vegan vitamin D supplement that fits your lifestyle. To narrow it down, here’s a selection of some of the best vegan vitamin D Amazon. These products are all 100% natural and extracted from plant or vegetable sources. If you’ve got Amazon Prime, you might even be eligible for free shipping.
When you’re looking for a vitamin D2 supplement, you can’t get any better than one made from real powdered mushrooms. To make this supplement, the manufacturers harvested real mushrooms and treated them with UV light to bring out the vitamin D. The result is a powdered mushroom extract that comes directly from the source, not chemicals synthesized in a lab. The mushrooms in this product are 100% organic and harvested from ethical, sustainable sources. When you use this product, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re improving your health while also helping save the environment.
In addition to vitamin D2, this supplement is packed with other nutrients that are naturally occurring in mushrooms, including vitamin D4, ergosterol, antioxidants, and more. One capsule is all you need to get all the vitamin D2 your body requires for the day. And if for some reason you’re not satisfied, Real Mushrooms offers refunds and replacements on their products. With that kind of guarantee, why not give it a shot? You have nothing to lose and a healthier lifestyle and outlook on life to gain.
Benemax’s vitamin D2 supplements boast high-absorption capabilities, which means that the vitamins will quickly be absorbed in your bloodstream. This product is made from pure, organic ingredients like starch, filtered water, and sunflower oil–plus a healthy dose of vitamin D2. This supplement also contains vitamin E for an extra boost of nutrients. And with no sugar, gluten, GMOs, or additives, you can rest assured that you’re taking a natural product with no risk of adverse side effects.
One pill is all you need to get your recommended dose of vitamin D2 for the day. Each bottle contains enough pills to get you through two months of supplements. If you take these supplements during the winter, that’s almost enough for the entire season. At less than fifty cents a day, that’s a small price to pay for increased bone health and a stronger immune system.
DEVA vitamins are a simple, affordable way to make sure you’re getting all the vitamin D you need in your diet. One pill gives you massive dose of 2,400 IU of vitamin D2: that’s 600% of your recommended allowance. And with ninety pills in the bottle, this powerful vitamin can take you through the cold darkness of winter without missing a beat. When spring arrives, you can go outside and take in the sunlight again–or you can keep taking these supplements, and enjoy the boost of nutrients that they provide.
Every ingredient in this product is 100% vegan, even the stearic acid. While stearic acid is traditionally made from animal fat, the stearic acid in this product is actually sourced from vegetables. This product is also free of sugar, gluten, soy, wheat, and other potential allergens. In accordance with Green America, DEVA sources their ingredients from sustainable farmers and suppliers that are committed to animal rights.