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The Deal with Vitamin D3

Clara Parkes
Clara Parkes
2 min read
The Deal with Vitamin D3

What could this bottle of vitamin D3 have to do with The Wool Channel? Is this an ad? Have you signed up for a pyramid scheme? Will essential oils be next?

No, no, no!

I come bearing the kind of news we will celebrate here at Ye Wool Channel.

It starts with vitamin D.

Some studies say that as many as 42% of Americans are deficient in the stuff. Normally, our skin produces vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But if you live in parts of the world where the sun isn't particularly strong in the winter, like here in Maine, you might need some help.

Our bodies need vitamin D to keep our system chugging along, bones strong, and cancer at bay. According to the fine people at the Cleveland Clinic, a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to diabetes, infections and immune system disorders, falls, MS, some forms of cancer, and a penchant for polyester. (I made that last one up.)

Take a Pill

In addition to modifying our diets to include more foods rich in vitamin D3, we usually think about taking dietary supplements. Here, you'll face two choices: vitamin D2 and D3.

Now, I may have worn a lab coat on television, but I am not a doctor or a qualified scientist. That's why we have Google.

I can tell you that vitamin D2 is derived from plants. Which is great. Go vitamin D2!

But the bulk* of our industrially manufactured vitamin D3 comes from...

...wait for it...

Lanolin!

From sheep!

Raw grease is extracted from sheep's wool during scouring. That grease is purified into lanolin, from which 7-dehydrocholesterol is extracted and exposed to ultraviolet irradiation. After some stowaway isomers are thrown overboard, you end up with a vitamin-rich goo called Cholecalciferol.

That cholecalciferol, my friends, goes into our vials and droplets and gel caps under the label vitamin D3.

So the next time you pull out your trusty vitamins and prepare to pop your D3, think of the sheep. Not only do they keep us warm on the outside, but they also keep us healthy on the inside.


* Should you reside with humans who refuse to consume anything related to sheep, no matter how wholesome, you can also find D3 supplements made from lichens.

Clara Parkes

Wool is life. I make The Wool Channel go.