Cholecalciferol Question

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Cholecalciferol Question

Postby billyoffspring » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:42 pm

Cholecalciferol = non-vegan ALWAYS, correct?

Because, I want to buy this: http://altcancer.silvermedicine.org/aq_life_force.htm. I emailed the company and they even told me it was completely vegan! Uggh.
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Postby veganmike » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:52 pm

I think this is a common misunderstanding, even manufacturers don't know how D3 is produced. They assume that if they bought it from pharmaceutical company which told that it was "chemically synthesized" then it has to be vegan. Yeah, it is "chemically synthesized", but with the use of non-vegan products.

UK's Vegetarian Society gave their symbol of approval to D3 from Roche. So you can e-mail them for details since they had to get some sort of legal statement from Roche. I'm quite sure D3 is derived from wool.
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Postby veganmike » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:57 pm

How is vitamin D produced commercially for food supplementation?


When the critical importance to human health of a regular dietary access to vitamin D3 was understood (in the 1930's), milk suppliers realized it would be advantageous to their customers' health to market milk which had been supplemented with vitamin D3. Thus there developed in the 1940's, and continues to the present, a large business of industrial production of vitamin D3 used for the supplementation of foods for human consumption: milk (both homogenized and evaporated), some margarine and breads. Since the 1960's vitamin D3 has been used also for the supplementation of farm animal and poultry food. In 1973 in the United States some 290 trillion (290 x 1012) International Units of vitamin D3 was manufactured and sold for over 3 million dollars. This vitamin D3 is the equivalent of approximately 8 tons; [see page 62 of reference (2)].

The commercial production of vitamin D3 is completely dependent on the availability of either 7-dehydrocholesterol or cholesterol. 7-Dehydrocholesterol can be obtained via organic solvent extraction of animal skins (cow, pig or sheep) followed by an extensive purification. Cholesterol typically is extracted from the lanolin of sheep wool and after thorough purification and crystallization can be converted via a laborious chemical synthesis into 7-dehydrocholesterol. It should be appreciated that once chemically pure, crystalline 7-dehydrocholesterol has been obtained, it is impossible to use any chemical or biological tests or procedures to determine the original source (sheep lanolin, pig skin, cow skin, etc.) of the cholesterol or 7-dehydrocholesterol.

Next the crystalline 7-dehydrocholesterol is dissolved in an organic solvent and irradiated with ultraviolet light to carry out the transformation (similar to that which occurs in human and animal skin) to produce vitamin D3. This vitamin D3 is then purified and crystallized further before it is formulated for use in dairy milk and animal feed supplementation. The exact details of the chemical conversion of cholesterol to 7-dehydrocholesterol and the method of large-scale ultraviolet light conversion into vitamin D3 and subsequent purification are closely held topics for which there have been many patents issued (2).

The major producers of vitamin D3 used for milk and other food supplementation are the companies F. Hoffman La Roche, Ltd (Switzerland) and BASF (Germany).

Source: http://vitamind.ucr.edu/milk.html
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