All D’s Are Not the Same

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on October 24, 2011 · 0 comments

Vitamin D has been in the news a great deal lately. Canada has recenlty increased the daily recommendation and experts worldwide believe most of us are not getting enough of this important vitamin.

More and more foods are being fortified with vitamin D. The fortification occurs in two forms: D2 from yeast and D3 from the lanolin in sheep’s wool . A new study clearly shows that either form of vitamin D is effeciently absorbed and used by the body. Why is this important?

For strict vegetarians D3 is not an acceptable additive for food as it comes from an animal source. Currently, most fortified orange juice is fortified with vitamin D3. If manufacturers substituted with D2, fortified brands would be a good source of vitamin D for strict vegetarians. This is an important issue as the major food sources of vitamin D are: milk, oily fish (herring, salmon, sardines), egg yolk, butter and liver. Vegetarians get their vitamin D primarily through fortified foods like orange juice, cereal, grains and bread.

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