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 Post subject: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:59 pm 
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sorry everyone im sure this topic has been debated to death but im really confused.

ive been taking these "vcap" vitamin D capsules because i was under the impression they were vegan. (isnt that what vcap means?)

http://www.amazon.com/Now-foods-Vitamin-45mcg-120VC/dp/B0019QT9LA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335135027&sr=8-1

Ive been reading Vegan for Life and now im totally lost.

looking at the bottle of vitamin D3 it says the product contains no egg or SHELLfish.

then it says vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) (from lanolin)
the big long C word is the one in Vegan for Life they say is from fish.
why would it be advertised as vcaps if the actually product is from fish?
what exactly is lanolin? makes me think of body lotion for some reason.

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

my mom who is a nurse told me when i went to get vitamin D to MAKE SURE i got D3. what is wrong with D2?
when i got my vitamin D tested i had pretty much none in me (i live in MA)

id prefer to make sure all my supplements are vegan but i dont want to be missing an important nutrient in my diet.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Lanolin is from sheep's wool. I just don't retain Vitamin D for some reason and can't absorb veg*n versions, unfortunately (I get blood tests every 6 weeks).


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:04 pm 
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i can't say anything about the vcaps but wouldn't assume anything is vegan unless the word vegan is predominant.

lanolin is a wool by-product.

i am a bit confused myself about the diff between d2 and 3 so will be looking at this thread again later.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:11 pm 
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doing a quick google search looks like D3 is the kind our own skin makes when sunlight hits it.

this blog says D3 is 500% more "bioavailable"

http://vitamind3blog.com/2010/05/vitamin-d2-vs-vitamin-d3/

very very confusing stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:20 pm 
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As a general rule, Vitamin D3 isn't vegan, but there have recently been some vegan ones on the market: http://store.veganessentials.com/catego ... ubmit1.y=0
http://www.veganstore.com/category/s?keyword=d3

I've been using the Vitashine spray.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:25 pm 
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I feel like everything I read about vitamin D promotes D3 as being better absorbed than D2. But a few years ago I was deficient and made sure my doctor prescribed D2 (she wanted me to mega-dose, hence why I needed a prescription). She had no problem with giving me D2 rather than D3, and like 3 months later my levels were back in the normal range. I realize that's anecdotal, but D2 worked just fine for me, so maybe it will for you too?

Also, if your levels are really that low, you might be better off with a prescription D pill for a while. I think mine were something ridiculous like 50,000 iu each. Now that my levels are normal I take the Veglife ones that you can get at Whole Foods.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:43 pm 
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I had prescription vitamin D2 and my doc told me D2 was better. Vcaps just mean they aren't gelatin.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Vcap just describes what the capsule is made of, so it's a non-gelatin capsule. The vit D is derived from an animal source though, if it's D3 and not specifically vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Food Fight sells vitashine's D3 in 5000 IU capsule form. This is probably the strongest vegan D available.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:42 pm 
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I take 4000 IU of Vitamin D2 daily (well on days I remember). The medical advice I got was to take 3x the amount of D2 to equal the RDA of D3. I use Nature's Sun brand that I order from www.vitacost.com


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:51 pm 
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I was (maybe still am) really deficient and my doc prescribed me D2 without me asking for it. But I don't know what they're packaged in, and that could very well not be vegan. Hopefully my levels will be back up when I get retested and I can just switch to definitely vegan ones.

I hear D3 recommendations a lot too, and it's confusing because I've heard of so many doctors prescribing D2. I guess that's not something everyone agrees on.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:08 pm 
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For whatever reason, prescription strength D (50,000IU) seems to always be given in D2. The problem, however, is that it's also put in a gelatin capsule. In very large doses, D2 seems to do as well as D3 - maybe it doesn't raise levels as fast as D3, but it gets people out of deficiency well enough and consistently enough that they keep prescribing it almost exclusively. The problems people usually bring up with D2 is that for some people, lower doses of D2 don't seem to do as good a job as lower doses of D3 and also that large doses of D2 seem to cause a similar spike in blood D levels to D3, but those spikes go down faster than the spikes caused by large doses of D3.

Most of the supposedly vegan D3 that has been on the market has turned out to be not actually vegan, but I think VitaShine is actually vegan.

Also, read this:
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones#d2d3


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Dealing with this very issue right now as I was just diagnosed as slightly low on D (and have been previously a couple of times at least, once severely low). One of my doctors is strongly pushing for me to take D3 and sent me some literature on it. She said (but none the articles address this) that taking D2 could inhibit absorption of our own D3 that we make. From the literature I'm getting the impression that D3 can get your levels up faster and keep them there if you take a very large mega dose, 50,000 iu. http://www.ajcn.org/content/84/4/694.full and http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... n15677758/

But I believe Ginny Messina points out that most people aren't taking those large doses so it would be more helpful to compare a typical dose like 400-2000 iu.

Here are the other links my doctor sent me: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21735411
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vi ... vitamin-d/
http://blog.vitamindcouncil.org/2011/11 ... -d2-vs-d3/

To make me feel better she did say it's not necessary for the sheep to be harmed in the process: "most D3 is produced by irradiating lanolin extracted from shorn sheep's wool. Though it is not vegan, no animal is harmed in extracting it." I realize that is a lower bar than most vegans might accept. My other doctor knew I was on D2 and told me to up from 400iu to 800iu. I'm still pretty torn but going to continue with D2 and a decided effort to get sun this summer, and get tested again in September.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Obviously something produced using lanolin means interacting with the wool industry. The wool industry is notoriously cruel while the animals are alive and they pretty much all wind up eventually being slaughtered and eaten (if they don't die from infections as a result of tail-docking or the shearing process, or they don't die as a result of exposure to extreme weather which often happens to wool sheep). "Though it is not vegan, no animal is harmed in extracting it" sort of misses the whole point.

That being said, everybody has to make choices that protect their health. A sickly vegan is not a good advocate for veganism. If I couldn't maintain a healthy level of D using D2, I would take D3. But I didn't have to switch to D3 because I was willing to take doses large enough to be really effective. (I went from "very deficient" to "optimal" in about 4 months just taking over the counter D2.)

800IU is unlikely to be at all helpful (and the current RDI is actually 600, not 400). My experience is that taking less than the upper limit (4000IU) does almost nothing to bring up levels in the short term, especially when they're really low.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:29 am 
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I was severely deficient, and my doctor prescribed D2 without me requesting it, but they came in gel caps! Stupid. I finished the prescription and then ordered vegan D2 from Amazon. I haven't been tested again since, so I have no idea if they were effective. I'm still taking them and should probably go back to the doctor to get tested again.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:37 am 
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Oh man, this thread is scaring me. What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency? I hardly ever take supplements or eat fortified food, and I've been vegan for years....

This is also making me rethink my doctor's advice to only go in once every five years.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:53 am 
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quark what part of the world do you live in?

vitamin D is kind of the "big thing" they have been testing for in the past like 5 or so years.
those of us in the northern hemisphere are extremely deficient for the most part because (at least for those of us in the US and i would imagine Canada and Europe) many of us work indoors and then we have long winters (in the north north).
so we dont get the sunlight that we need to manufacture our own vitamin D. also we all wear a lot of sunblock when we do go outside which is good to protect against skin cancer and UV rays but it does also block the production of the vitamin D.

i believe some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is fatigue, depression, aches and pains.

this whole thread is making my head spin.
i was prescribed the mega dose 50000 IU initially when it was discovered i had no vitamin D in me (this was actually a couple years ago) but i dont know if it was D2 or D3 and i remember i only took like 2 doses as it gave me migraines so the doctor said to just take the over the counter variety and had told me how many at the time (i forget) i think now i take either 1000IU or 2000IU everyday of those vcap ones.

i finished the whole supplements/minerals/vitamins part of Vegan for Life last night and wrote down all the levels i should be getting everyday.
i also just recently finished my bottle of regular one a day multivitamins and i dont think they were vegan so i have to research all sorts of vitamin stuff today.
i think the B12 i take is vegan but it's not sublingual or chewable so i think i need to find a new source of that too.
AY YI YI!!!

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:58 am 
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I live in Indianapolis. I'm super pasty and freckly, so I have to wear sunscreen most of the summer. Shiitake.

I think I need to hit up my doc for some testing.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:08 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
i think the B12 i take is vegan but it's not sublingual or chewable so i think i need to find a new source of that too.
AY YI YI!!!


Jack Norris recently wrote about this topic. There might be some evidence that B12 from sublingual/chewable tablets is not better absorbed than B12 from tablets which are swallowed.
http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=2854


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:02 am 
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quark wrote:
I live in Indianapolis. I'm super pasty and freckly, so I have to wear sunscreen most of the summer. Shiitake.

I think I need to hit up my doc for some testing.


From what I've read, it is suspected that many people in the US are deficient but it is only recently been pushed as something to test for by doctors. I got tested and didn't have any symptoms. I was on borderline low so I was prescribed D2 to bring my levels back up. It worked and I now take D2 supplements on a regular basis.

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:24 am 
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thanks for the link on the blurb about b12.
when i got my bloodwork done a few months ago my b12 was just fine so i thik i will go with "leaving well enough alone" and sticking with the supplement i already take.

thanks! :-D

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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:43 am 
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When I took my nine month old for his last check up she urged me to give him a vitamin d supplement. We spend several hours a day outside and she said that even people who live in Texas and work outdoors are usually low in d, so it is good to take it. I got some drops (now I cannot remember if they are d2 or d3) and we are all taking them as a family.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:46 am 
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Also, quark, this isn't a vegan issue, just a human issue. Vegans aren't more likely to be vitamin D-deficient than non-vegans.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:52 am 
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Getting sunlight doesn't necessarily mean anything. I live in Florida and was deficient. Pretty much everyone should supplement unless you have some medical reason not to.


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 Post subject: Re: confused about vitamin D
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:01 am 
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I need to buy some more.

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