Q. I have heard that a person who is allergic to wool should take vitamin D2 instead of D3. Is this true?


A. Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, lab director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, answers: “While some people allergic to wool have reported an allergic reaction to vitamin D3 supplements (particularly at high doses), there is very little scientific data to support or refute this claim. According to ConsumerLab.com, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements are derived from either fish oil or lanolin (a natural waxy substance that helps sheep shed water from their wooly coats). If your doctor has recommended vitamin D supplements and you are concerned about taking a lanolin-derived product, look for fish-oil derived D3. Another option is to take vitamin D2, which may not be quite as effective as D3 at raising blood levels but is a good choice none-the-less. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so be sure to take it with a meal or snack that includes some healthy fat.

“Our bodies produce Vitamin D when rays from the sun strike the skin. Sun screen and clothing interfere with this process but are important for preventing skin cancer. Americans get most of their dietary vitamin D from fortified foods, particularly milk, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, orange juice, and yogurt, and from natural sources like fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon). Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolk also naturally contain some vitamin D (mostly D3), and some mushrooms provide D2.”


  1. I’m one of those people allergic to wool, lanolin, lamb & mutton and am now taking a vegan form of vitamin D3. Wow!! What a difference in my body!! I have more energy, my digestion is similar to what it was like when I was a child, and I’ve lost weight without changing anything else!! Looking for the source of vitamin D fortified foods so I can avoid what I’m allergic to.

    • Hi Janet, I just discovered this is the reason I never recovered from allergic reaction dr recently diagnose Im allergic to lanolin and just realized has been my daily of 10000 IU on vitamins D3. Can you please recommend your vegan form vitamin D3? Thank you

      • I just recently discovered the D3 lanolin connection and want to switch. I haven’t tried it yet – but MaryRuth’s supplements have been working very well for me and all her D3 is vegan sourced from lichen and natto (a Japanese bean paste). Everything I’ve tried from her line has been excellent and are formulated to be highly bioavailable which is fantastic for people like me who have problems with digestion. Hope this helps!

  2. I was wondering if lanolin in Rice Krispies is the same as the lanolin in Vitamin D 3 Supplements? If I’m not allergic to the lanolin in Rice Krispies would that mean I’m not allergic to the lanolin in the Vitamin D3 Supplements? I’ve been eating Rice Krispies for years. Thank You. John


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here