As a vegan, the only options for me to get vitamin D are sunlight, UV radiated mushrooms and supplements.

UV radiated mushrooms are unavailable here, vegan Vitamin D supplements which are available are unreliable in their efficacy. So, sunlight is one option. But I have noticed it makes my skin tanned and dark. Is there any way to avoid this or do I have to become tanned and dark skinned to get my Vitamin D?

  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it's (a) not really about veg*nism, just about the effects of the sun, and (b) too broad without more specific detail such as where in the world you are and your natural skin colour.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 10:14
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    I am a little puzzled at your statement: '...vegan Vitamin D supplements which are available are unreliable in their efficacy...'. My impression was that the lichen-based products were suitable for vegans and reasonably efficacious. Not necessarily challenging your statement, just after your further thoughts...
    – user3977
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


Vitamin D3 (Ergocalciferol) is cholesterol in the skin being transformed through UV radiation. The Ultraviolet rays will also tan your skin. If you (for whatever reason) want to keep tanning to a minimum, you can reduce the time of exposure at each session, because it takes a few minutes for your body to start producing melanin, which is the main hormone involved in the tanning process. So essentially, you would get a higher number of shorter sessions of sun exposure.

However keep in mind that:

  • Tanning is good for us as it protects our cells from damage.
  • Sunshine is essential for humans as besides the benefits of Vitamin D, we also need the Infrared light, which make up more than 50% of the sun light spectrum.
  • The circadian rhythm which controls more than 20% of our genes is also directly synchronized primarily by sunshine.

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