Vitamin D is one of four fat-soluble vitamins (the others are vitamins K, E and A). Your body needs it for calcium and phosphorus absorption, bone health, and muscle growth and development.
Given that so many people are not getting enough of this vitamin, taking a supplement can be a great way to ensure that you are getting your daily vitamin D needs.
A little science lesson: There are actually two forms of vitamin D – D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). The only difference is in the chemical side chains, but both are well absorbed by the gut.
Supplements can be made with either D2 or D3, but most research shows that vitamin D3 increases the levels of vitamin D in your blood more and for longer than D2.
The recommended dietary supplements (RDAs) for vitamin D are:
The sun doesn’t shine all the time, and you probably aren’t getting enough vitamin D from your diet all the time. If you live in a place where it rains, rains and snows, it is not always possible to get enough vitamin D from the sun.
Certain people and populations are also at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- older adults
- People with higher body weight
- People in nursing homes or hospitals
- People with high levels of melanin (darker skin tones)
Another challenge: Your body needs UVB radiation to absorb sunlight and convert it into usable vitamin D3. UV radiation is considered to be carcinogenic and is one of the main causes of skin cancer. Using sunscreen will block UV exposure, which will reduce the risk of cancer, but it will also block some of the UV rays that produce vitamin D.
Other benefits of vitamin D.
The benefits of vitamin D go beyond bone health. A 2018 review found that vitamin D may have the potential to protect against the flu virus.
Vitamin D is also important for a healthy pregnancy. Some research suggests that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is linked to preeclampsia and premature birth.
In order to find the best vitamin D supplements, we looked at a few criteria:
- Quality. We have selected products from manufacturers who have strict standards for quality and purity.
- Rave reviews. Supplements are a dozen – a Google search will show you thousands to choose from. We selected products that had great reviews from many people.
- Bioavailability of nutrients. This means that your body absorbs and uses most of the nutrient when you take the supplement.
- $ = under $ 15
- $$ = $ 15- $ 20
- $$$ = over $ 20
Best liquid vitamin D softgel
1. Sports research vitamin D3 – count 360
Not only does this supplement last a year at a reasonable price, it also carries the FDA-cleared Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) seal of approval. Plus, it’s made without gluten, soy, or GMOs.
Because vitamin D is fat soluble, consuming it with a fatty meal can help your body absorb the vitamin. A 2015 study found that plasma vitamin D3 levels in people who took the supplement with a fatty meal were 32 percent higher than those with a fat-free meal. This particular supplement is infused with coconut oil so the fat comes with it!
Considerations: While the addition of coconut oil can help with absorption, it also means that people with an allergy to tree nuts may need to choose a different D3 supplement. If you’re allergic to nuts, avoid them unless your doctor is OK.
Whichever way you take it: Take 1 capsule a day that contains 5,000 IU (125 µg) of vitamin D.
Sports research vitamin D3 on-line.
2. NatureWise Vitamin D3 – count 360
This D3 supplement uses organic cold-pressed olive oil to aid absorption. Therefore, this softgel is a better option for people with tree nut allergies. It’s also free from the eight major food allergens: wheat, soy, dairy products, corn, eggs, peanuts, fish, and shellfish.
Considerations: One disadvantage is that this product is not vegan – the capsules are made from gelatin.
Whichever way you take it: Take 1 capsule per day for 5,000 IU (125 µg) of vitamin D3.
to buy NatureWise Vitamin D3 on-line.
Best high-dose vitamin D supplement
3. BioLabs Pro Vitamin D Cream – 3 ounces
This is the only supplement on our list that you don’t take internally, and it contains one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin D3 on the market: 15,000 IU! It also contains vitamin K2 to improve bioavailability, as well as olive leaf extract, vitamin C and vitamin E to keep your skin glowing.
It might seem strange using a cream to meet your vitamin D3 needs, but a 2018 study found that topical vitamin D can increase your blood levels and provide an alternative to oral supplements.
Considerations: While this cream doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients or preservatives, it’s best to test it on a small area of skin before rubbing it on, especially if you have sensitive skin.
How to use it: The recommended use is 1 pump per day, which will give you 15,000 IU of vitamin D3.
Buy BioLabs Pro Vitamin D Cream Online.
Best vitamin D chewable tablets
4. Nature made vitamin D3 chewable (grape flavor) – count 120
This product has rave reviews and many, and pharmacists often recommend this brand. And who doesn’t love to go back to the Flintstones childhood days with a chewable tray?
Considerations: This purple hue comes from red and blue dyes. Food colors are generally considered safe, but some people can be sensitive. According to a 2010 article, Red 40 (the dye used in this supplement) is also one of the most commonly consumed dyes and can contain small amounts of a possible carcinogen.
Whichever way you take it: Take 1 tablet per day for 1,000 IU (25 µg) of vitamin D with a meal.
Buy Nature Made Vitamin D3 Chewable Online.
5. Carlyle Chewable D3 (natural berry flavor) – 180 count
Another CGMP approved product, these chewable tablets are packaged in the United States and manufactured in an FDA regulated facility. With every chewable tablet you get 2,000 IU of vitamin D without gluten, lactose, wheat, soy or artificial flavors or colors.
Many reviewers also mention the ease of chewing these vitamins as they are small and have a tolerable taste.
Considerations: These vitamins contain artificial sugars so they don’t taste like bitter chalk. Artificial sugars are regulated by the FDA, but can cause digestive problems in some people who are more sensitive to them.
Whichever way you take it: Take 1 tablet a day with a meal – this makes 2,000 IU (50 µg) of vitamin D.
Buy Carlyle Chewable D3 online.
Best vitamin D gums
6. Mama Bear Organic Children’s Vitamin D3 – 80 count
Do you want a gummy supplement that tastes like candy but is actually good for you and all children? These fruity organic gums contain strawberry, lemon and orange flavors and support strong bones and the immune system. Although they are advertised as vitamins for children, we promise they will benefit you too (and we won’t say 🤫).
Considerations: These gums have added a little sugar (1 gram to be exact) to make them tolerable for the little ones. They also use natural organic flavors and colors.
Whichever way you take it: Adults and children from 2 years of age can take 1 gummy bear for 1,000 IU D3 per day.
Buy Mama Bear Organic Children’s Vitamin D3 online.
7. The way of nature is alive! Calcium + D3 Gummies – 60 count
The addition of calcium and fruit / vegetable powder sets this supplement apart for adding extra love to your bones. Like vitamin D, calcium is important for strong bones – and your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. These gummies are also gelatin free and gluten free.
Considerations: Because of the ingredients, a two-gum dose contains 25 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrates. And you need to stock up on these – with 60 rubbers per container and a dosage of 2 rubbers twice a day, you’ll be going through them quickly.
Whichever way you take it: Take 2 gummies (2,000 IU D3 and a total of 520 mg calcium) twice a day with or without food.
Buy Nature’s Way gummies on Amazon.
Best vitamin D capsule
8. NOW highly effective vitamin D3 – 120 count
If you’ve forgotten, you’ll like the fact that you only need to take this supplement once every 2 days. These vitamins also offer CGMP quality assurance and are free from the eight major allergens.
Considerations: If you are a vegetarian or vegan this is a no-go as it is made with beef gelatin.
Whichever way you take it: Take 1 capsule (5,000 IU or 125 µg) every 2 days with a meal containing fat.
Buy highly potent vitamin D3 online NOW.
Best vitamin D drops
9. Thorne Liquid Vitamin D / K2 Liquid – 1 fluid ounce
You get two fat-soluble vitamins in one with vitamins K and D in this liquid. A 2017 review found that optimal K and D intake are important for bone and cardiovascular health.
This product is also free from major allergens and has a simple dosage that makes it easy to use for children and adults.
Considerations: Due to the addition of vitamin K, this may not be a good option for you if you are on blood thinning medication. Vitamin K can counteract the effects of these drugs.
Whichever way you take it: Take 2 drops one to three times a day (2 drops contain 1,000 IU or 25 µg of vitamin D3).
Buy Thorne Liquid Vitamin D / K2 Liquid online.
Best vegan vitamin D supplement
10. Naturelo Vitamin D3 – 180 count
Many vitamin D3 supplements are made from lanolin (sheep’s wool), but that just doesn’t work in a vegan lifestyle. This supplement is made from wild-harvested lichens, which are a fungus. Because mushrooms grow outdoors, they are exposed to UVB rays.
This product also does not contain GMOs, soy, gluten, dairy products, corn, nuts, additives, preservatives or colorings.
Considerations: It only comes in capsule form, which some people may not prefer, and it’s expensive.
Whichever way you take it: Take 1 capsule daily with a meal (5,000 IU or 125 µg).
Buy Naturelo Vitamin D3 online.
11. Garden of Life mykind Organics Vegan D3 Chewable (Raspberry-lemon flavor) – count 30
If capsules aren’t your thing, these chewable tablets are organically grown, GMO-free, vegan and gluten-free. They contain a mix of lichen and organic mushrooms for D3. Fungi can contain more than 10 micrograms of vitamin D, depending on UV exposure.
This product also contains an organic food mix (a mix of flax seeds, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach) for extra nutrients. Even the raspberry-lemon flavor is made with organic flavor and without added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Considerations: The amount is rather small. With just 30 days, you have to reorder more often.
Whichever way you take it: Chew 1 tablet daily, which will give you 5,000 IU (50 µg) of vitamin D.
Buy Garden of Life mykind Organics Vegan D3 Chewable online.