Best Vitamin D Supplements Tested and Compared
You’ve been hearing about vitamin D since childhood. The importance of it throughout your infancy, child, teenage and adult life has been blasted at you through ways that you might not have even realized.
The availability of vitamin D in your everyday intake was easy to come by, and no one could really play dumb if they didn’t have enough vitamin D. It came in commercials with the combination of sugary cereal and footage of an apple to maintain a balanced, healthy diet. It was spread all over the Got Milk? ads of the 90s, that we need vitamin D and milk for strong bones, teeth and muscles. We also heard about it and its connection with calcium and also how extremely important it was for our bodies.
Our Top 3 Picks
What Is Vitamin D?
If you are interested in incorporating Vitamin D into your existing vitamin supplement plan, you should most certainly understand what precisely it is first and foremost. To begin, vitamin D is one of the chemicals that the tissues that make up our body utilize in order to unlock DNA blueprints of which each tissue contains and that are highly required for cells to start producing the countless biochemical products that are required for their day-to-day functions.
Why Do We Need It?
This is a fairly common question that is all too often asked when people begin to consider adding daily doses of vitamin D into their supplements routine. The answer in itself is quite easy; we need to take vitamin D supplements due to the fact that each and every tissue in our bodies actually requires it and it simply won’t properly work if we do not take enough vitamin D regularly. In its most extreme forms, in turn, vitamin D deficiency has been well known to produce rickets in children and osteomalacia (which is the proper term for bone softening) in adults. Lack of vitamin D in our body can lead to a disruption in growth and bones beginning to malform. This occurs as the concentration of minerals in our blood stream is simply not adequate to best provide support of the mineralization of new bone. And once this happens, efficient absorption of dietary calcium requires significant levels of vitamin D.
Interestingly, more mild degrees of this form of deficiency are now being regarded as one of the main causes of a vast array of various chronic diseases; of which include, but are most certainly not limited to: osteoporosis,various autoimmune diseases (such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis), impaired immune competence, several different forms of cancer (most notably breast, colon, lung, lymphoma and prostate), high blood pressure, pregnancy complications and even cardiovascular disease. Any of it, in turn, begin to develop specifically due to vitamin D deficiency.
10 Best Vitamin D Supplements
Our number one on the best vitamin D list! The best option according to us is by Solgar. The all natural, gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free product contains 120 vegetarian capsules to boost your Vitamin D levels!
This particular product of vitamin D is also kosher approved. It is a perfect dose to boost your mood and be effective in all the right places without being too powerful!
Unfortunately, and this is the only kicker, it is not always found locally. But since you're finding out about it online, through us, you can reap the benefits of having the availability right here at your disposal!
- Vegetarian capsules
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- All natural ingredients
- May not be found locally
2. Carlson Labs
Containing 360 soft gels, Carlson Labs brings out one of the best Vitamin D supplements that completely blows most of the other ones out of the water. This particular product is gluten, milk, preservative and casein free! It is also FDA regulated.
Carlson Labs Vitamin D3 soft gels are easy to swallow, come at a great price and are back with lots of quality behind the brand name! We can only say: what more could you ask for?!
- 360 soft gels
- Gluten free
- Preservative and casein free
- Not suitable for vegetarians
3. Country Life
This vitamin D supplement has made it into our top three list for a variety of different reasons. Though our exclusive list is based on many things, the combination of price, quality, review responses, and effectiveness take extremely high factors in the making of the order.
Country Life's product is also water dispersible and has its history backed behind it, almost forty years of it. It is also very effective in getting blood and calcium levels where they need to be.
- 100 capsules
- Gluten free
- Vegan capsules
4. Thorne Research
This vegetarian, hypo-allergenic supplement is one of the most pure forms out there. It is lactose free and has no hidden ingredients that most of these supplements contain. These caps help your immune, heart and bones.
Most of those who had taken these particular vitamins had seen a steady, strong spike in their vitamin D levels that they completely accredit the supplement for.
- Vegan capsules
- Energy booster
- Lactose free
- Powder capsules which do not dissolve in water
5. Now Foods
Now Foods Vitamin D supplements come with 120 caps, and is really one of the best options for your money that you will find. Coming at an affordable price, the Now Foods Vitamin D supplement is a hard to beat product. But on top of that, the supplement is also vegetarian, vegan and GMP Quality assured.
Your body will respond well with the all natural ingredients, instead of taking risks with supplements that might contain ingredients you have never heard of or which your body doesn't take very well.
- Vegan capsules
- Affordable price
- 120 capsules
6. Nature Made
This Vitamin D Supplement branded by Nature Made IS the number one pharmacist recommended.
Like most of the Vitamin D Supplements on this list, it boosts bone health and your immune system. It also is great for the health and strength of your teeth.
The product holds 100 tablets that go down easy for simple ingestion to get your proper levels of vitamin D.
- Yeast free
- Gluten free
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Those sensitive to maltodextrin should use it with caution
These caps do everything a good Vitamin D supplement needs to do. What pushes them apart from the other products available out there is that they are also certified vegan!
A fun fact when deciding which vitamin D to choose, vitamin D3 is actually proven to be more effective than D2. Most D3 supplements are also perfect for vegans and vegetarians looking for a healthy Vitamin D supplement.
- Plant based
- Boosts immune system
- Great for calcium absorption
- Somewhat expensive
8. Life Extension with Sea-Iodine
This 60 capsule infusion is a bit pricier than the others, but it contains two different type of vitamins!
These supplements from Life Extension will transfer energy from the sea straight to your body! It contains Sea-Iodine as well. Get ready to keep fatigue away and add the vitamins you need back into your body.
- Has vitamin K
- Recommended for blood clots
- Energy booster
- Somewhat expensive
9. Healthy Origins
We put this supplement above the others because you are getting more bang for your buck. This container comes with 120 Softgels of vitamin D at an incredible price.
They go down easy, are tasteless and scentless. The brand, Healthy Origins, is a quality name that brings the ingredients that you need for the product to be most effective.
- 120 softgels
- Testeless and sentless
- Not suitable for vegetarians
10. Source Naturals EpiCor
Source Naturals brings us a 5-star vitamin D supplement that will help you boost and support your immune system. Though most of these supplements brag about these specific benefits of vitamin D, Source Naturals has the brand to back up the assumptions.
- Boosts immune system
- Great for your skin
- Recommended for the Winter season
Benefits and Uses
As you are probably very well aware by now, Vitamin D can be produced within your body through mild sun exposure or by the consumption of food or vitamin D supplements.
Getting the adequate intake is essential for the regulation of calcium and also phosphorus absorption in your body, along with ensuring the overall maintenance of providing your body with healthy bones and your teeth. It has additionally been suggested to supply your body with an overall preventative effect against many different diseases and a number of other health-related conditions such as type 1 diabetes, cancer, and even multiple sclerosis.
There are a number of other roles that Vitamin D plays within your body. Some of these incredibly wonderful benefits include, but are most certainly not limited to:
- Helping to maintain the health of your bones
- Helping to maintain the health of your teeth
- Supporting the overall health of your immune system, brain, and your nervous system
- Regulating insulin levels
- Helping to manage diabetes
- Supporting your lung function
- Supporting your cardiovascular health
- Influencing the expression of the genes of which are involved in the development of cancer
In spite of the name, vitamin D is considered a pro-hormone and not actually a vitamin. This is because the body is capable of producing its own vitamin D through the action of sunlight on the skin, while vitamins are nutrients that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be acquired through the diet or supplements.
One of the many questions that people who are curious about Vitamin D may ask is how precisely it actually comes to be produced. The answer is a fairly simple one, when sunlight converts cholesterol on your skin into calciol (more commonly referred to as vitamin D3), vitamin D3 then gets converted into calcidiol (or more commonly known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3) within your liver. Your kidneys, in turn, start to convert calcidiol into the significantly more active form of vitamin D, of which is called calcitriol (or 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D3). Being that this is the natural process of the formulation and development of vitamin D, it is vitally important to remember that statins and other medications or supplements of which can inhibit cholesterol synthesis, liver function or kidney function can also impair the synthesis of vitamin D, which is why this is a particularly important issue to speak with your doctor or healthcare physician about.
Prior to beginning or changing up your already existing or brand new daily supplement regimen, you should be quite well aware of some of the main key facts regarding some very useful information of which pertains to vitamin D:
- The primary role of vitamin D is to simply support the overall development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Those with fair skin who have experienced full body exposure to the sun can synthesize upwards of 20,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 in a mere 20 minutes!
- Vitamin D deficiency is actually quite common. And is the most often experienced in infants, the elderly, those with a darker complexion and people who currently reside at higher latitudes or get very little sun exposure.
- Vitamin D deficiency has noted to be found in upwards of 80% of patients who have suffered from hip fractures.
A mere 800IU of vitamin D each day can significantly reduce the overall risk of experiencing fractures by at least 20% in elderly people and also greatly decreases the risk of falls.
- The actual metabolism of vitamin D has been noted to be affected by certain medications, including, but not limited to: barbiturates, phenobarbital, dilantin, isoniazid and statin drugs.
Vitamin D plays a substantial role in terms of the regulation of both calcium and the maintenance of phosphorus levels within your body’s bloodstream. Both of these factors that are invaluably important for keeping your bones healthy. It should be noted that our bodies require vitamin D in order to absorb calcium into our intestines, while also setting about reclaiming any and all calcium of which will otherwise be excreted through the kidneys.
It has also been noted time and again that vitamin D deficiency in young children can actually cause rickets. Rickets is a disease that can be described as a severely bow-legged appearance of which is triggered by the impaired mineralization and otherwise softening of the child’s bones as the child is growing. In terms of adults, vitamin D deficiency can actually manifest itself into osteomalacia or osteoporosis. Osteomalacia can result from poor bone density, along with muscular weakness and has been known to cause minuscule fractures among ones spine, femur or humerus. However, it is actually osteoporosis that is the most common bone disease linked most notable amongst post-menopausal women and older men.
While bone health is often one of the most commonly referred to health benefits of the adequate daily consumption of vitamin D by way of either sunlight, supplements or even foods, there has actually been numerous observational studies of which have suggested an inverse relationship between the blood concentrations of vitamin D within our body and overall risk of type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetics, decreased levels of vitamin D have actually been noted to have a negative effect on the secretion of insulin as well as glucose tolerance. And, in one study, infants who were given 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D actually had an 88% decreased risk of the development of type 1 diabetes by the age of 32.
Women who are currently pregnant can also reap the excellent benefits of vitamin D as well. For instance, women who are vitamin D deficient were noted to be at an increased risk of the development of preeclampsia which later required the need for a cesarean section. Additionally vitamin D deficiency was also shown to be associated with gestational diabetes mellitus and even bacterial vaginosis in women who are pregnant. While there are a significant number of excellent benefits associated with vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy, it should also be noted that vitamin D levels that were too high during pregnancy were shown to be linked with an increase in the development of food allergy’s of the child during the first two years of his or her life. If you are pregnant, or are planning on becoming pregnant, it is essentially important to speak with your healthcare physician or midwife regarding the safest amount of vitamin D that you should be taking for the overall health and well-being of both yourself and your unborn child.
Vitamin D has so many incredible benefits to aid and assist your body in staying healthy and strong. If you are seeking to incorporate this vitamin into your health regimen be sure to always opt to select the purest supplements that are free of any and all binders and fillers. And if you have any questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider for more answers and insight.
Vitamin D Sources
A solid source of Vitamin D is the sun, and in most cases, we get our supply of it from the sun rather than milk. That is also why the most cases of Vitamin D deficiency occur during those winter months, where in some cases, some inhabitants of rainy, snowy, overcast cities, can truly witness their body intake of Vitamin D plummet. Fortunately, there are Vitamin D enriched food and supplements.
Some of the Vitamin D that you need on a daily basis can be found in oily fish–like sardines, mackerel and salmon, egg yolks, red meat and liver, and in some breakfast cereals. Of course, many also get their fill of Vitamin D in fortified milk.
Supplements of about 10 mcg daily for those winter months are usually suggested and recommended. Interestingly enough, it is also suggested that those with darker skin should also take the supplement no matter what the weather is like outside! Those with darker skin are one of “people groups” that might be associated (but not directly cause/affect related) with low vitamin D levels.
Like everything else, too much consumption of Vitamin D can lead to some pretty bad things. For instance, too much calcium in the blood can have negative effects on the heart and kidneys. It can also actually weaken the bones instead of strengthen them. As always, your doctor knows best, and will know the perfect amount for you to take (if you need to take them).
Criteria for Evaluation
People around as recommend things all the time. If you look around, from Youtube tutorials to blogs to even news articles, there are recommendations everywhere and it makes you wonder. How did they go about recommending this? What did they evaluate? Well, the same goes for supplements and this section covers the criteria for evaluation of these health supplements. In simpler words, this section will cover every aspect of product recommendation starting from product testing, to user reviews and ratings and even ingredient safety – we cover it all and tell you “why” we chose these particular products.
A crucial part of recommending any product, it is as simple as the title is. The products are tested out one at a time to assess just how effective they are and how close to they are to the claims they make. As we know, most products come with various claims that not only help them in marketing but are also of value to various customers. By testing the product before we recommend them, we check just how true to the word they are and if they are reliable. For example, the Solgar 600IU vitamin D supplements claim to be gluten free and dairy free. Also, another example is the Now Foods 1000IU vitamin D tablets where they sell with the “affortable” tag line. It is claims like these that we assess and take into consideration before we recommend anything.
User Reviews and Ratings
As consumers, we conduct thorough research before purchasing even the most mundane of invaluable of things. We put time into finding out about cars or clothes or even items of adornment but when it comes down to items that are meant for consumption and are supposed to go “inside” the body, somehow, we manage to find ourselves at a lack of time or even are disinterested in it all together. However, it is a crucial part of investing in supplements and we make that easy for you. By analyzing the hundreds of reviews and ratings that are associated with various products, we bring to you a condensed version of the best products out there.
Also, different people react to products in multiple ways. With the help of tabulation of various reviews and ratings, we can estimate just how well or badly the general population but react towards a particular product. It is this aspect that we take into consideration and then recommend products that have fared well with majority of individuals. Furthermore, to form our very helpful pros and cons list, we actually separate these reviews into lists that help the consumer. We look out for pros like vegan and vegetarian friendly, gluten free products to cons like extremely expensive or even lack of availability.
Potential for Side Effects
When it comes to dealing with healthcare supplements, one thing is obvious. Even the safest of things can have a potential for side effect. However, we try and recommend those products that are safe and least harmful. Also, all bodies react differently to products, as states above. Allergies and even side effects from the product itself can take place. Another factor that many people do not consider when using supplements is that even though they are natural, if not used correctly, they can be dangerous.
The majority of products are safe when used in safe levels however, very high levels of doses of anything can be dangerous and give adverse effects. Some of the common side effects experienced when it comes to vitamin D are allergic reactions like rash or itching, swelling of the face, throat, and tongue, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, changes in heart rhythm including irregular or racing heartbeat. Some rarely seen effects consist of dry mouth, vomiting, weakness, lack of energy or even fatigue.
Another major part of our background research consists of looking into the manufacturer’s reputation before we recommend anything. It is important to us to know how well known a brand is and what kind of reputation it holds in the market. Brands that value health and their customers’ requirements before anything else is what we give priority to. Brands like Solgar, Carlson Labs, Country Life, Thorne Research, Now Foods, Nature Made, MRM, Life Extension, Healthy Origins, and Source Naturals are included in this list for this very reason.
Safety of the Supplement
Even though most supplements are safe, it is not possible to know how any two bodies may react to a product. We make sure that we recommend brands and products that are certified and produced in the best conditions, however, we also say that is best to consult a doctor or pharmacist before starting a new regimen of products. They will not only be able to discuss the safety profile of the product but also how to best use it.
Ingredients and Their Effectiveness
Since Vitamin D is naturally sourced in edible food, extracted vitamin D is considered safe as well. Most products that have Vitamin D as the main ingredient also consist of other secondary ingredients that are crucial for the stability and form of the product. The other ingredients are beneficial like potassium or sea iodine that give additional benefit. Also, included in the products are ingredients like gelatin, glycerin, water and many others. Most of these ingredients depend on the dosage form. Please view the provided links for each product to get a comprehensive look at the ingredients inside it.
Some of the common dosage forms in which vitamin D supplements are available in are tablets, capsules, liquids, and softgels. In addition, to study the effectiveness of any product, looking at product reviews and even using it yourself will give you the best idea. Scrolling up will also give you natural sources of Vitamin D that you can incorporate in addition to the supplements. Our particular list of products consists of vitamin D supplements that have proven to not only be most effective for users but have also had fans who gladly share their experiences.
Q. Where does vitamin D come from?
The most notable source of vitamin D is actually your very own skin. A particular chemical compound that is naturally present in all of the superficial layers of your skin gets converted, via exposure to UV-B radiation, then to cholecalciferol (which is vitamin D3). Interestingly, we can only manufacture this certain form vitamin D if we expose our skin to UV-B radiation. Which is why if we tend to spend all of our days inside or only go outside in the early morning or late evening, then we ultimately do not get ample levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun that is required to formulate enough vitamin D that is needed for our overall sense of health and well-being.
Q. Does the location of where you live matter?
Interestingly, yes. The general latitude where one resides actually plays a vitally important role in terms of the overall production of vitamin D and how your body will accept and process it. For instance, those who live in the more northern latitudes actually have significantly less of a chance to create vitamin D due to the fact that during the winter (even at midday, when the sun’s rays are the strongest) the light of the sun is actually so very weak that it simply does not produce significant levels of vitamin D synthesis within our skin.
Q. How long should you be outdoors to receive the benefits of vitamin D?
This is a tricky question and in all honesty, there truly is no one single correct answer to it. Generally speaking, a fair-skinned person, who is wearing a bathing suit, will create roughly 15,000 IU of vitamin D in about 15–20 minutes in July at the peak of the midday. While darker-skinned people can equally do the same and create the same amount, it takes them double the time to do so.
Q. What is the effect of sunscreen? And the risks of skin cancer?
It should, of course, be noted that sunscreen is invaluably important when it comes to protecting your skin from both sun damage, overexposure and most importantly, skin cancer. While sunscreen helps to block UV-B radiation, it, in turn, prevents the manufacture of vitamin D. Brief exposure to the sun is most certainly required in order to actually be able to produce adequate vitamin D, and it is not enough to lead to any risks of the development of skin cancer. If for any reason you find that you are still worried about the skin cancer risk, be sure to apply sunscreen following the first 15 minutes of sun exposure.
Can I get vitamin D from foods?
For the most part, the answer is yes. However, you may find that you are plain and simply not getting enough .There are of course quite a few natural exceptions of which include, but are not limited to oily, wild caught fish, and certain sun-dried mushrooms. Vitamin D is also added to a number of different foods, such as milk, certain yogurts and even some orange juices, cheeses and breakfast cereals. Be sure to always check the label to find out how much is present in the food of your choice.
Q. How much do I need?
Your body requires at least upwards of 4,000 IU each day in order to maintain a healthy body. Interestingly, due to the fact that the vast majority of us do not get enough sun exposure, the small amount of vitamin D that we get in that way, along with the foods and fortified food sources, becomes equal to no more than roughly 2,000 IU/day. With keeping that thought in mind, in order to meet the body’s requirement of at least 4,000 IU/day, the vast majority of adults in the region of North America should, in turn, be taking supplements that can provide them with at least 1,000 to 3,000 IU each day.
Q. How can I tell if I need vitamin D?
This is yet another great question for a very good reason. To start, is should plain and simply be noted that the chances that you do in fact need more vitamin D are super high. The vast majority of youths and adults in the regions of both North America and Europe require additional vitamin D in their systems to maintain optimal health.
Q. How can I be sure what kind of vitamin D is in my supplement?
If the supplement that you are taking is vitamin D3, the label will typically and quite clearly specify, “vitamin D3” or “cholecalciferol.” If it does not clearly show you, be sure to ask your local pharmacist or healthcare provider. If he or she simply can’t locate the correct information, then be sure to reach out and ask the manufacturer of the vitamin D supplement or better yet, simply switch over to a vitamin D product of which provides those vitally important details.
Q. Do these supplements expire?
Yes, they most certainly expire. The expiration date of the vitamin D supplement will, in fact, be printed on the label. Prior to purchasing, be sure to take a look for the expiration date and use the product only while it is still fresh. It should, of course, be noted that the term “expire” simply means that the vitamin D supplement has lost some of its unique potency. If you have found that you have accidentally consumed an expired vitamin D supplement, there is most certainly no need to panic. You will be just fine, however, you may no longer be receiving as much of the IU as the label specifies.
Vitamin D is an extremely vital component in our bodies that we need constantly. Through either natural forms or through direct sunlight, we can obtain the amount of it that we need. However, there are times where the sun is not so prevalent, or we just don’t get enough of the levels that we need from the food we consumer.
For this, there are dietary Vitamin D supplements. We hope that this guide will make your decision and buying experience easier and quicker. Not only is this an extremely important part of maintaining your overall health, these supplements (and vitamin D in general) can help you in ways that you might not have even realize you needed.