The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Is Vitamin D in Cow’s Milk Animal-Derived?

Posted on April 23, 2010 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

A reader asked if the vitamin D in cow’s milk is animal derived.

VRG Researcher Jeanne Yacoubou responds:

Thanks for your recent inquiry to The VRG about possible animal-derived ingredients added to cow’s milk.

According to the National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet on Vitamin D, http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp, vitamin D3 derived from lanolin, (the oily wool of sheep), is the form of vitamin D that is typically added to cow’s milk in the United States. It may also be added to evaporated milk and infant formulas, margarine, and yogurt. Vitamin D2 derived from yeast may be added to certain rice milks and soy milks. Either, but mostly vitamin D3, may also be added to fortified breakfast cereals and fruit juices.

The VRG Guide to Food Ingredients may have more information of interest to you.

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