What Vegan Vitamin D3 is Made From

It’s common knowledge that Vitamin D3 is usually derived from animal sources. However, as someone switching to veganism, you might prefer a plant-based source for this essential nutrient.

Fortunately, there are vegan-friendly versions of Vitamin D3 available on the market.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the vegan Vitamin D3, determining at what it’s made from and how it differs from its animal-based counterparts.

Read on and learn more about this fascinating addition to your cruelty-free lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Vegan Vitamin D3 is derived from lichen, a unique combination of algae and fungi.
  • The production process of vegan Vitamin D3 involves harvesting lichens, UV irradiation for Vitamin D3 production, extraction, and pairing with a vegan carrier oil.
  • Both regular and vegan vitamin D3 have identical chemical structures and are utilized by the body in the same way.
  • Choosing between traditional and vegan Vitamin D3 ultimately depends on personal dietary preferences and ethical considerations.

What Is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is typically sourced from animals. It’s a nutrient that aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, both of which are crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth.

Most commonly, Vitamin D3 is derived from lanolin, a waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals such as sheep.

Do Vegans Need Vitamin D3 Intake?

You might wonder if, as a vegan, you need to supplement your diet with Vitamin D3. After all, Vitamin D3 is one of the vitamins that the human body can synthesize via the skin, so there should be no need for additional sources of it. Unfortunately, the reality is more complex.

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Only a relatively small amount of Vitamin D3 is produced by the body, which largely depends on sunlight exposure. For those living in areas with less sunlight or leading an indoor lifestyle, it is nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D3 via sun exposure. To make matters worse, there is no vegan source of traditional Vitamin D3 – all of the primary sources are animal-based.

Here’s a short table to showcase the typical sources of Vitamin D3:

Traditional FoodIUServing size% RDA
Beef liver423 ounce5%
Butter91 tablespoon1%
Cereal801-1/2 ounce10%
Cheese121 ounce2%
Cod liver oil1,3601 tablespoon170%
Egg yolks441 yolk6%
Fresh salmon5703 ounce71%
Halibut3841/2 fillet48%
Mackerel3601/2 fillet45%
Milk, fortified1201 cup15%
Sardines462 fish6%
Trout6453 ounce81%
Tuna403 ounce5%

Since most Vitamin D3 is obtained from animal foods, vegans are often at a higher risk for Vitamin D3 deficiency. You might think that plant-based foods can compensate for this, but unfortunately, plants only produce Vitamin D2, which is less effective than D3 in maintaining healthy bones and immunity.

That’s where plant-based Vitamin D3 comes in. Vegan Vitamin D supplements are made from lichen, a unique type of fungi that naturally produces Vitamin D3. This can be a game-changer for vegans, providing the missing nutrients without compromising their dietary principles.

The Vegan Solution: Lichen-Derived Vitamin D3

off white colored small plant on surface

So, let’s dive a bit deeper into this vegan solution: lichen-derived D3.

Lichen, a unique organism that’s a symbiotic combination of algae and fungi, is a natural source of vegan vitamin D3. It’s one of the rare non-animal-based sources that naturally produces this necessary nutrient.

Production Process of Vegan Vitamin D3

Let’s take a closer look at the production process, giving you a full understanding of how your lichen-based D3 supplement is actually made. Several crucial steps are involved in producing your vegan vitamin D3 supplement to ensure its quality and efficacy.

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The production process begins with the selection of the right vegan source and is quite straightforward:

  • The lichens are harvested and then subjected to a process called UV irradiation. This step is vital as it mimics the natural process that humans undergo when exposed to sunlight, leading to the production of Vitamin D3.
  • Post irradiation, the lichens undergo a series of purification processes to extract the vitamin D3.
  • It’s then combined with a suitable vegan carrier oil like coconut or MCT oil to ensure better absorption in your body.
  • To guarantee the supplement’s vegan status, all stages of the production process are strictly controlled. This involves the avoidance of any animal-derived substances or methods that involve animal testing.
  • Through this rigorous process, a high-quality, plant-based vegan vitamin D3 supplement is produced.

Traditional vs. Vegan Vitamin D3

Your body’s ability to utilize vegan vitamin D3 is the same as non-vegan vitamin D3 despite their differing sources. As we mentioned above, the distinction between animal-based and vegan vitamin D3 lies primarily in their sources.

Apart from that, they are virtually identical:

  • Both types provide the necessary cholecalciferol to support your body’s needs.
  • Despite being from different sources, your body utilizes both forms of vitamin D3 similarly.
  • Both forms of vitamin D3 have an identical chemical structure.

Therefore, the choice between traditional and vegan vitamin D3 depends largely on your dietary preferences and ethical considerations.


All in all, for vegans or those considering a plant-based lifestyle, lichen-derived Vitamin D3 offers a cruelty-free way to maintain optimal health.

This lichen-derived plant-based supplement is an excellent solution that aligns with vegan principles while ensuring your body gets the necessary nutrients it needs.

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