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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Vitamin D Supplements
Created on: 03/14/13 08:36 PM Views: 2572 Replies: 6
Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 8:36 PM

I have heard Dr. Barnard say that for someone eating a plant-based diet, the only supplement that is necessary is B12.

With respect to Vitamin D, he has said that by going outside in the sunshine for about 15 minutes each day a person can get an adequate amount of Vitamin D. I live in New England where the winters are very cold. It really is not possible to obtain adequate sunshine during the winter months.

I have been told by my doctor that my Vitamin D level is low and that I need to take
4000 iu of Vitamin D3. I am ambivalent about whether I should take the supplements or just rely on sun exposure in the warmer months. I have also read mixed opinions on the safety of supplements.

Does anyone have any advice about this?

RE: Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 9:09 PM

If a physician has recommended you take a particular supplement, that's different than taking a supplement for the heck of it. If you make a special effort to get some sun this summer and retest your vitamin D levels, you will be able to see exactly how well it worked. There is some evidence that even for those who live farther north, the sun absorbed in the warmer months can carry you through the winter.

Your physician has prescribed the upper limit of vitamin D, so it should not be a problem. It doesn't hurt to do so until you can implement the sun plan!

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 at 12:35 AM

The supplement question is always very confusing to me and I hear alot of different opinions on supplementing for vegans. I prefer Not to supplement if possible but wonder about the following:

- EHA/DPA- Omega 3's
- D3 versus D2 - As a vegan is it ok to use D3 ?
- Calcium - someone told me that it is a good idea to take calcium along with D3 (?)

I do take B12 and right now I am also taking D3 as my blood test came back low.
In terms of omega 3's I eat walnuts daily and chia seeds a few times a week and virtually no soy so I am not sure if that is adequate or not.

Thanks for the help and expertise. It is so appreciated!

RE: Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7:22 AM

- EHA/DPA- Omega 3's

Not necessary - especially if you eat a low-fat, vegan diet. You will get all the omega-3s you need from plants and in the perfect ratio for maximum conversion to EPA and DHA.

- D3 versus D2 - As a vegan is it ok to use D3 ?

If you want to take a vegan vitamin D you will either have to take D2 or buy a specially labeled vegan D3. Vegan D3 is brand new to the world, and I've only seen it available online. It's not anymore expensive, thankfully. Vitashine is the brand with which I'm most familiar, but I'm seeing more popping up in the market.

- Calcium - someone told me that it is a good idea to take calcium along with D3 (?)

I recommend you eat lots of leafy greens and beans for your calcium. No need to supplement unless a physician has recommended it.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I live in Seattle and like you there is no way for me to get my vitamin d naturally. working with my doctor I take 1000mgs a day of D3. as far a calcium, I would advise against a calcium supplement. for women it does more harm then good.

RE: Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Thanks very much Susan for the help ! I am very appreciative of this very informative forum Smile

RE: Vitamin D Supplements
Posted Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Very informative article on Vitamin D.

John McDougall Newsletter


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