- 1 Vitamin D Deficiency
- 2 How To Choose The Best Vitamin D Supplements
- 3 Guide To Vitamin Ds
- 4 Reviews Of The Best Vitamin D Supplements In 2019
- 4.1 1. Nature Made Vitamin D3 – The Best Supplement To Buy In 2019
- 4.2 2. Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy – The Best For Taste
- 4.3 3. Naturello Vitamin D 2500 IU Supplement – The Best For Vegans
- 4.4 4. Nature Made Gummies Vitamin D Supplement – The Best For Kids
- 4.5 5. Carlson Kid’s Daily Vitamin D Supplement – The Best For Infants
- 5 Top-rated Vitamin D Supplements Comparison Chart
- 6 An Alternative To Vitamin D Supplements
- 7 FAQs
It’s been fine without supplements but now, we’re all trying to find the best vitamin D supplements. This might seem to be an unnecessary action at first, but let us tell you why it’s not.
Vitamin D Deficiency
According to research by the Mercy Medical Center, 42% of the American population is believed to be deficient in Vitamin D. Needless to say, the number shows how much attention this phenomenon should receive (a lot, I would say).
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
WebMD states that there are various causes of it, mainly surrounding the living conditions of the patient. We’d like to list these causes shortly as follows:
- Lack of sunlight exposure: this is probably the most well-known cause. Light from the sun is an important factor in stimulating our skin to produce Vitamin D3. Without sunlight, one might not be able to produce as much Vitamin D3 as the body needs.
- Dark-colored skin: scientists found that people with darker skin color aren’t able to produce as much vitamin D3 as people with lighter tones of color. Biologically, the melanin pigment hinders vitamin D3 production.
- Problems with the kidneys: these are responsible for converting vitamin D into substances the body can use. When they fail to do so, our body also fails to make use of vitamin D, causing a deficiency.
- Other health conditions: some diseases or special conditions might prevent vitamin D absorption— such as autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis and some types of cancer.
As the causes might vary, we strongly suggest you see a professional to be diagnosed and prescribed with the correct medication.
Possible Ways To Increase Vitamin D Intake
Unless your body needs a special medical treatment, these possible solutions can increase vitamin D intake:
Solution #1: get out in the sunshine! Expose yourself to lots of sunlight to get vitamin D3. Go for a walk, sunbathe, whatever makes you go outside and enjoy the sunlight. Just be careful to not burn.
*Note: sunscreens can block the UV light, which prevents vitamin D3 production of the skin. Our advice? Moderation of sunscreen use is key.
Solution #2: eat plenty of foods rich in Vitamin D2 or D3. Fish, animal liver, egg yolks, and butter are great sources of Vitamin D3. If you are vegan, chances are you might not be getting vitamin D from food so look to other sources.
Solution #3: get vitamin Ds from supplements. Although Vitamin D is commonly found in animal products, it is also found in certain types of fungus. This is good news for all vegans out there, and we have just the products for you right below.
How To Choose The Best Vitamin D Supplements
Although there aren’t that many brands, it was difficult for us to select because the differences are minor. But as we dug deeper, we came up with a list of criteria that a quality vitamin D supplement should have.
Decent Amount Of Vitamin D
To help ensure we are getting a healthy amount of nutrients, it is necessary to work out how much is required. In the U.S. we use a “Daily Value” system, defined by the FDA, that lets us know how much is recommended for optimal health.
For example, product A contains 13mg Vitamin E, 89% DV. This means the product covers 89% of your daily vitamin E intake and in order to be as healthy as possible, we need to have 11% more.
Because different nutrients have different suggested amounts, the DV is shown in percentages for easy measurement. According to the FDA, each person should have roughly 100% DV of each nutrient per day. This is just an estimation though, not something everyone should strictly follow. There are differences in people’s height, weight and daily intake needs but DV is a great guideline.
Does this mean supplements with 100% DV of vitamin D shown on the label are good? When it comes to medication, it rather depends on compatibility, or how suitable the supplement is to your body. Patients might need much more than 100% from supplements, while an average person might only need a smaller amount in addition to the amount of vitamin D they are already getting. To add clarity, we will explain further in each product’s review below.
Verification Of A Third-party Organization
Unlike medicines, most supplements aren’t required by law to have a verification of a trusted third party.
In one of the articles of The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s stated that:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.”
What this means is, the FDA only tells manufacturers to provide information. It is NOT their obligation to guarantee whether the information is true or not.
With that confirmed, we did a bit of further research and found that trusted products are usually verified by one of these third-party organizations. Their job is to run tests to find out whether the given information is true or misleading.
Vitamin D3 Instead Of D2
Long story short: Vitamin D3 supplements are better and these are what we tried to find. If you wish to know why, let’s explore this some more.
Guide To Vitamin Ds
Kinds Of Vitamin D
There are 2 types of vitamin D— vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.
Vitamin D2, or Ergocalciferol, comes from rare types of fungus and are usually artificially produced in labs to make supplements.
Vitamin D3, or Cholecalciferol, can be produced by our skin if exposed to the ultraviolet light in sunlight, and can be found in certain types of foods — fish, animal liver, egg yolk, and butter.
Similarities and Differences Between Vitamin D2 and D3
Here’s a summary of what I found to be the most crucial information about vitamin Ds, according to Healthline.
- Both are fat-soluble, assist calcium absorption and enhance the immune system.
- Lack of both results in Vitamin D deficiency. Specific diseases related to said deficiency include osteoporosis, bone fractures, malignancy, cardiovascular disease, infections, and more.
- Vitamin D3 is found to provide more Calcifediol. This is a substance that is later converted to Calcitriol, which directly influences calcium absorption. For this reason, many believe Vitamin D3 helps harden bones and thus, preferring a Vitamin D3 supplement.
With all of the differences set aside, we’d like to stress that Vitamin D2 isn’t bad. It’s been prescribed for treatments for quite a long time. However, we only feature Vitamin D3 supplements in our reviews as they are the superior option, compared to Vitamin D2.
Reviews Of The Best Vitamin D Supplements In 2019
To make your consideration easier, we will list the products that we found to be quality and as well, try to state our reasons as clearly as possible. Please leave a comment if something comes up.
- Nature Made Vitamin D3 Supplement – The best to buy in 2019
- Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy Supplement – The best for taste
- Naturello Vitamin D 2500 IU Supplement – The best for vegans
- Nature Made Gummies Vitamin D Supplement – The best for kids
- Carlson Kid’s Daily Vitamin D Supplement – The best for infants
*This DV is for children 4 years and over.
**This DV is for children 1 through 3 years.
1. Nature Made Vitamin D3 – The Best Supplement To Buy In 2019
First, let’s have a thorough discussion about how much vitamin D you need.
According to the table from the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, adults need about 15-20 mcg of vitamin D per day. This can be converted to 600-800 IU, short for International Unit. This amount is recommended in the assumption that one has decent exposure to sunlight. Without sunlight exposure, the required amount is 30 mcg— 1200 IU for adults, as stated in this updated research.
With that said, we decided to search for a product that contained around 1000-1200 IU of vitamin D, and this seemed to be a good fit for us.
The product comes in a bottle of 300 softgels. The label says each softgel contains 1000 IU of vitamin D, meaning the bottle should last for almost a year. The softgels are egg-shaped, making swallowing easier. They also include soybean oil and glycerin, substances that improve the absorption of vitamin D.
Since the capsule casing for this supplement is made of gelatin, you should be concerned if you’re either allergic to gelatin, or vegan. For vegans, we have just the product for you right below.
To top it all off, the product is approved by USP, This is a final confirmation of the validity of the product.
2. Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy – The Best For Taste
In response to those who say supplements can’t be made delicious, I’d say have a look at this pack of fruit-flavored gummies.
If you’re concerned about your weight, this bottle of gummies isn’t what you should be afraid of. Similar to sweet treats, it contains 3 grams of added sugar in one serving— 2 gummy bears, the exact amount you should have a day. In short, one serving delivers 2000 IU of vitamin D within yummy, chewy gummies, at the cost of only 15 calories.
The only thing that troubles me and the team is that there seems to be no mention of verification on the product. As usual, we always try to reach out via email to make inquiries, but so far, there has yet to be a response. We’ll make an update when we hear back from the company.
For now, we will use the information from their website. First, regarding the verification they claim:
“As dietary supplements, vitafusion™ products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. We comply with FDA laws and regulations, including current Good Manufacturing Practices for dietary supplements.”
Second, there are a number of professionals in the field of nutrition involved in the making of Vitafusion vitamins. If you wish to learn more about them, their details are mentioned on Vitafusion’s main site.
3. Naturello Vitamin D 2500 IU Supplement – The Best For Vegans
Because the vegan diet demands a full restriction of animal-based foods— one common source of vitamin D, those who follow this diet (if unable to get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight), should reconsider their vitamin D intake.
One of my favorite brands on the supplement market is Naturello. I am impressed with their line of plant-based supplement products. It is from this line of products that I was able to select the vitamin D supplement for you, my beloved vegan readers.
Impressed as I am, there is still one feature about the product that I believe if it were to be improved upon, would make this supplement top of my list.
Usually, vitamin D is packed along with liquid fat in order to improve its absorption. This is why it commonly comes in soft gels, enclosed in a thin layer of gelatin. But since it’s meant for vegans, gelatin couldn’t be used in the making.
So instead of a gelatin cover, the vitamin D of this product is in powder form, encased in cellulose capsules, which of course can’t retain liquid-like substances like fat. This is why it is recommended on the label that the pills should be taken during meals because it needs fats from food for optimal absorption.
Other than that, I’m happy with what the product delivers- 2500 IU of vitamin D (vegans need extra vitamin D). No preservatives, no artificial ingredients. That’s what they claim on the label, and I trust these statements since it’s printed right above the GMP stamp of certification.
4. Nature Made Gummies Vitamin D Supplement – The Best For Kids
According to the table mentioned earlier, kids above 2 years old have identical needs to adults- 15-25 mcg of vitamin D, or 600-1000 IU (the minimum amount is with slight exposure to sunlight, and the maximum is without.)
But kids are smaller than us adults. Swallowing big pills is something that would not be easy (or safe) for them. They need something chewable, not something to swallow as a whole.
With this in mind, our search ended with this product, containing 1000 IU of vitamin D per serving and artificially-flavored. Some people are concerned about the artificial substances, but the product’s approval by USP means it’s within the limits of what is thought to be harmless.
5. Carlson Kid’s Daily Vitamin D Supplement – The Best For Infants
Infants below 2 years old need much less vitamin D than kids and adults, roughly about 300 IU per day. Many must be thinking that with such a small need, it’s difficult for infants to have a deficiency. However, it can easily be caused by a vitamin D deficient diet or simply lack of exposure to sunlight.
To save your child from lack of vitamin D, we ran a search and stumbled upon an interesting form of vitamin D supplement that’s very suitable for infants: drop bottles. That’s right, they exist. Why am I using the plural form? There’s only one product that’s a drop bottle: Carlson Vitamin D.
This drop bottle contains palm oil and vitamin D, a combination that’s best for vitamin D absorption. Each drop can be consumed in any way you want, with or without food, as long as the recommendation on the label is followed.
Regarding verification, we made an inquiry to the brand’s spokesperson as we found no information of it on the site, and received a response.
Their products have two verifications- one is from IFOs, a “third party testing program that is exclusively for fish oils”, and one is from IGEN program, a “third-party testing organization that tests products for GMO genes and proteins”.
Top-rated Vitamin D Supplements Comparison Chart
|Product||Vitamin D IU (per serving)||DV (per serving)||Type of oil||Verified|
|Nature Made Gummies||1000||250%||No oil||Yes|
An Alternative To Vitamin D Supplements
When people go to stores, they are faced with a huge collection of multivitamin supplements and consider buying them for one simple reason: they provide what vitamin D supplements provide, and even more. But do you really need them?
How Multivitamin Supplements Benefit The Body
Multivitamin supplements are products designed to provide important nutrients that a diet might be missing. We found that most multivitamin supplements available contain good amounts of both vitamins and minerals, and of course, vitamin D.
When You Should Have A Multivitamin Supplement Instead
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a deficiency, it is always best to check in with your doctor and see what they suggest. Supplements should not be used as a remedy to any disease but rather (as the name suggests) a supplement to your diet to help improve your health.
Other than that, if you happen to find your diet is not completely wholesome, a multivitamin supplement can be a time-saving solution.
If you would like to have a better look into multivitamin supplement products, we suggest you pay a visit to our picks. The article is also researched and produced by me and the team.
Related article: Top 5 best multivitamin supplements
In case you haven’t got the slightest idea about our Q&As, I am glad to say that we welcome all health-related concerns. Below are just a few that I found in my mailbox related to vitamin D. If you have any questions regarding any supplement products or health in general, turn them in and we’ll try our best to have them answered and explore those topics in future articles.
Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Despite there being two types of vitamin D, their deficiency has the same mild symptoms. According to Healthline, these are some of the things that might happen if you lack vitamin D:
- Getting infected often, impaired wound healing: vitamin D is involved in the communication between infection-fighting cells and the brain. Lack of vitamin D weakens the system and allows easier infections as well as slows the wound healing process.
- Fatigue or stressed: to be fair, vitamin D deficiency is just one among many potential causes of fatigue and stress. You can’t be sure whether you’re lacking vitamin D or not by judging how tired you feel, but it’s a factor.
- Bone and back pain: vitamin D improves Calcium absorption, so lack of vitamin D potentially causes bone-related diseases.
Although these might seem like obvious symptoms, they can be due to many other reasons besides vitamin D deficiency. Being aware of your body is always better than waiting for obvious symptoms to appear.
Signs Of Vitamin D Toxicity
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is possible to ingest too much vitamin D. But you shouldn’t be worried about the amount of vitamin D your body naturally makes. Toxicity is usually because of supplement overdose.
Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption, so the main consequence of vitamin toxicity is hypercalcemia, a buildup of calcium in the blood. Early symptoms include excessive thirst, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and weakness. If left untreated, the disease might lead to complications such as high blood pressure, calcification in the kidney tubes, kidney failure or hearing loss.
Similar to all overdose cases, it is advised to stop taking the supplement and have a health check as soon as the first symptoms appear.
When To Take Vitamin D Supplements
According to Consumer Lab, consumption of certain vitamins and minerals should be regulated for the best effects. They should be either taken at the same time of each day or separately from each other.
As for Vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins, they should be taken along with meals that have fats. Thus, for an optimal result, don’t ingest vitamin D with other fat-soluble vitamins in greater amounts than itself. Other vitamins can compete with vitamin D if present in larger amounts.
And since Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption, many people think it’s a good idea to take Vitamin D before having a calcium-rich meal. This is not a bad idea, but do note that while it’s a good way to improve Calcium absorption, it doesn’t help with vitamin D absorption.