Are MegaFood Vitamins really all that the company makes them out to be? Not from what I can see they aren't. I was intrigued when someone wrote in to me suggesting that I look into their Vitamin D3 as a Vegan Vitamin D supplement because it was made from brown rice, broccoli and other whole foods.
But since, from what I know, there is no vitamin d3 IN broccoli or brown rice, I just had to investigate. I went to the MegaFood Vitamins site and found out that their Vitamin D3 is not made from 'whole foods' at all, but made from a specific yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known simply as S. cerevisiae.
There is nothing wrong with yeast or other microorganism based foods, in fact, that is how Vitamin B12 Supplements are made because Vitamin B12 comes FROM microorganisms. In fact, one of the Benefits of Sauerkraut and other fermented foods is that they contain small amounts of Vitamin B12 from the activity of the microorganisms created from the fermentation process. I got excited. Could there really be a Vegan Vitamin D Supplement that I could recommend to my website visitors and clients?
But I still had some questions, so I wanted to see if there were any patents or studies explaining the process of making vitamin d3 from yeast. Unfortunately, the only thing that I could find was this study entitled The induced biosynthesis of 7-dehydrocholesterols in yeast: potential sources of new provitamin D3 analogs. I say unfortunately because a 'previtamin d3 analog' is NOT vitamin d3 and in fact might be vitamin d2. And since vitamin d2, known as ercocalciferol, is ALSO made from S. cerevisiae, I began to get suspicious that their Vitamin D3 might actually be Vitamin D2.
As I could not find out any more information on the MegaFood Vitamins website, I wrote the company asking them about the process in which their vitamin D3 is made.
Unfortunately, the answers that I received from MegaFood Vitamins were less than satisfying and made me lose faith in their credibility and the truth of their advertising.
They say that their vitamin d3 is from S. cerevisiae, and technically it is- however, they actually take regular old vitamin d made from sheep lanolin that anyone can buy in stores, and they 'feed' this vitamin d3 to the yeast in order to 'Biotransform' the vitamin d3 into what they claim is an effective and bioavailable form of vitamin d3 that is easily 'utilized' by the human body. And on their Vitamin D3 product they claim right on the bottle:
"Cold Fusion FoodState Vitamin D-3 is an effective,
bioavailable form of this important nutrient."
Unfortunately, the truth is that they admit to having done NO bioavailability studies and have done no studies to see if Vitamin D Levels in the blood are actually raised when humans ingest their vitamin d3. So, in fact the company is outright lying saying that THEIR vitamin d3 is an effective bioavailable form of vitamin d!!
Without human studies to back up their bioavailability claims, their vitamin d may not be able to be absorbed or raise vitamin d blood levels. And it is certainly not a Vegan Vitamin D. To their credit, the representative from MegaFood Vitamins answered my questions promptly, courteously and truthfully. And they NEVER made the claim that their vitamin d is 'vegan', but they do claim that it is a 'vegetarian' source of vitamin d3.
I guess that whether someone considers having fed lanolin to yeast as 'vegetarian' is a matter of personal interpretation that I don't care to debate. I would love to recommend their whole food Vitamin D3 in the future if they ever do human studies that show that 'biotransforming' vitamin d is an effective method of making vitamin d more available to the human body. In the meantime, I have asked them to remove the statement on their label that misstates that their vitamin d3 is an 'effective bioavailable' form of vitamin d and I suggest that anyone interested in a vegetarian or vegan Vitamin D get their Vitamin D3 from an Algae Based Supplement that I can, indeed, recommend as a truly vegan Vitamin D3- the only one on the market that I am aware of.
Keep reading to see what other Vitamin D3 supplements that I DO recommend...
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