Vitamin D is commonly derived from sheep wool. Is this halal to consume?
Vitamin D supplements are available in two forms, D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is manufactured by the UV irradiation of ergosterol in yeast, while vitamin D3 is traditionally manufactured by the irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol from lanolin and the chemical conversion of cholesterol. Plant-based sources for vitamin D3 are also now available.
Lanolin is extracted from the wool of sheep. Can Muslims consume vitamin D supplements that are derived from lanolin?
Sheep wool is considered to be pure, therefore the topical use and consumption of products derived from it (such as lanolin) is considered to be permissible.
Furthermore, in order to produce Vitamin D from Lanolin, a multi-step chemical transformation occurs in addition to irradiation with ultraviolet light. Therefore, a chemical metamorphosis occurs, and the product would therefore be permissible to consume even if it were from an initially impermissible source.
Due to the above reasons, Vitamin D derived from lanolin from sheep’s wool is permissible to consume. However, one needs to be sure that the particular form of Vitamin D that he consumes is free from impermissible ingredients, such as gelatin.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Adil Farooki, MD
Checked and approved by Mufti Abdul Muqtadir Sikander
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البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (1/ 206)