The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Ingredient Guide Update Vitamin D2, Vitamin D3

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou

Vitamin D2
Alternate names: ergocalciferol, calciferol
Leading commercial sources: fungal (yeast, mushrooms), plant (sugar
cane), petrochemical
Found in: wild mushrooms, UV-irradiated mushrooms
Used in: non-dairy milks, bread and bread products, vitamin supplements
Used as a: food fortifier, nutritional supplement
Definition: Ergocalciferol is a secosteroid which is similar to a
steroid hormone although it is commonly referred to as a vitamin.
Ergocalciferol is an inactive precursor to the active form of vitamin D2
believed to be used by the body in many ways including regulation of
calcium absorption for bone health.
Manufacturers:
Lallemand Inc. reports that “Lallemand Bakers Yeast is a vegetarian,
non-fortified source of Vitamin D, which is both dairy and animal-free.
Yeast requires a carbohydrate source to grow; the most economical are
molasses and corn syrup” (Source).

Sichuan Neijiang Hui Zin Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. states that their
“Vitamin D2 comes from sugarcane of natural plant” (Source).

Jamieson Laboratories Ltd. says their vitamin D2 is “extracted from the
sugar cane stalk” (Source).

Synthesia, a.s. reports that they manufacture pharmaceutical grade
vitamin D2. “Production is synthesis by organic chemicals” (Source).

Classification: Vegan
Entry updated: March 2014

Vitamin D3
Alternate names: cholecalciferol, activated 7-dehydrocholesterol, calciferol
Leading commercial sources: animal (lanolin from sheep’s wool); lichen
(fungal/algal)
Found in: some fish and fish liver oils, egg yolks, lichen
Used in: dairy products, infant formula, cereal, juice, bread and bread
products, margarine, vitamin supplements
Used as a: food fortifier, nutritional supplement
Definition: Cholecalciferol is a secosteroid which is similar to a
steroid hormone although it is commonly referred to as a vitamin.
Cholecalciferol is an inactive precursor to the active form of vitamin
D3 believed to be used by the body in many ways including regulation of
calcium absorption for bone health. When 7-dehydrocholesterol in the
skin is exposed to adequate sunlight, cholecalciferol is produced giving
vitamin D its nickname: the sunshine vitamin.
Manufacturers: DSM reports that “cholesterol isolated from lanolin is primary raw
material for D3 manufacturing” (Source).

ESB Developments Ltd. states that they “…can confirm the lichen is not
grown on any corn/sucrose media nor do we artificially feed it in any way” (Source).

Classification: Vegetarian
Entry updated: March 2014

For more information on Vitamin D, see
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue2/2009_issue2_vitamin_d.php

For more information on ingredients, see
http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php

To support Vegetarian Resource Group research, go to:
https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565

To join The Vegetarian Resource Group, go to:
http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

The contents of this article, website, and our other publications,
including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal
medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified
health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient
information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure
about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and
mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgement about whether a
product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or
confirmation on your own.

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