MOST OF US HAVE FROWN UP HEARING how important vitamin D to growing bones, good health, and in preventing osteoporosis.
The problem is that many of us end being deficient in this crucial nutrient.
Why? Because we spend far too much time out of the sun and then when we are out in the sun, we all lather ourselves up with sunscreen.
No sunlight hitting your body means that it cannot produce enough vitamin D to meet your daily requirements. Which then leads to the need for the best vitamin D supplement you can find to help make up the deficit.
Bear in mind that all figures are based on 50% of the sample group and that your needs can vary significantly, the National Institutes of Health, you need:
|Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D |
|0–12 months*||400 IU|
|1–13 years||600 IU|
|14–18 years||600 IU|
|19–50 years||600 IU|
|51–70 years||600 IU|
|>70 years||800 IU|
* Adequate Intake (AI)
As you can see from, practically from birth, it is possible to need a vitamin D supplement. You can also see that from 1 year of age all the way to 70 years of age, the amount required is the same. It only changes at 70 due to the increased risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.
While browsing through the different vitamin D supplements on the market, you will find both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplements. Which leads to the obvious question, ” Which is the best vitamin D supplement?”
According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3 supplements are significantly more effective at raising the level of vitamin D stored in your body that vitamin D2. Thus, if you prefer to take D2 or are vegan, you would need to take a much larger dose than you would of D3 to achieve the same benefits.
Your body uses vitamin D to help it absorb calcium from the foods you eat and to regulate your calcium levels to ensure you don't have too much or too little.
Your body uses calcium to help your bones grow, repair themselves, and keep them good and strong. When your body doesn't have enough calcium, your bones can weaken and become brittle.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to find out if you are vitamin D deficient before you decide to start taking a supplement. There are three ways you can find out what your vitamin D levels are at:
While your chances of getting too much vitamin D from food, it is quite possible to overdose yourself on even the best vitamin D supplements. Known as vitamin D toxicity, too much D can lead to hypercalcemia or an excessive amount of calcium in your body. This condition can cause damage to your veins and organs.
The good news is that you cannot get vitamin D toxicity from spending too much time out in the sun. Your body controls how much vitamin D it produces to ensure this condition cannot occur unless you overdo the supplements.
If your body is not getting enough vitamin D, then it can't absorb the amount of calcium it needs. This can lead to rickets in children and rickets or osteomalacia in seniors.
Rickets can lead to soft bones that lead to skeletal deformities. Caught early enough in children, it is possible to reverse the damage by giving the child a very high dose of vitamin D. It works in kids because their bones are still growing and able to absorb the extra calcium, helping to re-mineralize their bones.
With so many vitamin D supplements on the market, there are a few things you should look for as you search for the right one for your needs.
As you may or may not know, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates every food product sold in this country. However, they offer no oversight or regulatory control whatsoever over dietary supplements. This means, you never know if what the label on a particular product matches what's actually in it.
It is possible for supplements to contain contaminants such as lead. According to independent testing company Labdoor, some supplements they tested contained as much as 900 percent more vitamin D than listed. Any supplement (not just vitamin D) you buy should state they have been tested by one of these three independent and highly reputable laboratories:
If the supplements you are looking at do not display the symbols or state they have been inspected by one of the above organizations, you should pass them on.
While it is impossible for you to buy a supplement that contains nothing but vitamin D, you can buy one with a minimal amount of artificial ingredients and no sugar. The reason you can't buy a straight vitamin D supplement is that the recommended dosage is so tiny physically that it is impossible to pick up.
This tiny amount has to be mixed with other ingredients just to create a supplement big enough for a person to see and take. We also believe the best vitamin D supplements are those that contain only vitamin D with no other supplements. Keep in mind that just about all of us need a vitamin D supplement, but only a few of us need extra calcium or CoQ10.
Like many other vitamins, vitamin D dissolves more easily in fat than it does in water. Your body is better able to absorb vitamin D when you take it with fatty foods, which is why so many supplements contain some for oil.
If you choose a supplement that does not include any form of oil, you should take it with a small amount of added fat such asis avocado, meat, a salad dressing, or a slice of your favorite cheese.
With all the many different products on the market, we found these to be the best vitamin D supplements on the market.
This vitamin D3 supplement from Zahler contains the finest all-natural ingredients and is manufactured and packaged in a state-of-the-art facility that is GMP, NSF, and NNFA certified to ensure they meet the highest possible nutraceutical standards. This product is non-GMO and is also vegetarian.
|Easy to swallow||Large dose|
|All-natural ingredients||Once a week dose may be hard to remember|
|Non-GMO and vegetarian||Not vegan contains lanolin from sheep's wool|
This vitamin D3 supplement from Bio Schwartz in mixed with just the right amount of organic olive oil, making it easier for your body to absorb. This product is all-natural, non-GMO, has no fillers, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, binders, solvents, or any other chemicals. It is also free of allergens such as eggs, gluten, soy, peanuts, wheat, milk, sweeteners or shellfish.
|No artificial ingredients||Some complaints of stomach problems|
|Non-GMO, no allergens||Tiny pills might be hard to handle|
|Contains organic olive oil to aid in absorption|
This vitamin D3 supplement from NatureWise is made using certified organic olive oil. A daily dose of 5,000 IU is enough to ensure 97% of those taking this supplement will achieve vitamin D3 levels of at least 30 ng/ml. All ingredients are 100% natural, non-GMO, USP Grade, and manufactured in a cGMP facility to ensure quality.
|All-natural ingredients||Says “Bottled in the USA” not “Made in the USA”|
|Certified organic olive oil||May cause nausea/diarrhea|
|Softgel capsule easy to swallow||Capsules may be stuck together.|
Pure Encapsulation uses only the finest raw ingredients that are sourced from trusted suppliers to ensure the quality of their products. All ingredients are independently tested to ensure quality and potency. This supplement is crafted to be vegetarian and non-GMO and assembled using hypoallergenic plant fiber (cellulose) and water-based capsules.
|Vegetarian, non-GMO||Some complaints of upset stomach|
This YoungGlo Vitamin D3 supplement is made without GMOs, magnesium stearate, artificial ingredients, soy, milk, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, or gluten. It does contain organic extra virgin olive oil and includes 5,000IU per softgel capsule. The company guarantees you will never receive a bottle that has less than 18 months left before it's expiry date. The cholecalciferol is derived from natural lanolin instead of from a synthetic source.
|All- natural ingredients||May cause diarrhea|
|Cholecalciferol from natural lanolin||Not vegan|
|Non-GMO and preservative-free|
There are two alternatives to taking a vitamin D supplement, neither of which is likely to provide you with quite enough on their own.
Spending more time out in the sun letting your body naturally synthesize vitamin D and choosing the right foods. You can try spending 10 to 15 minutes every day out in the sun, but not all of us can find even this small amount of time to relax out in the sun.
Here is a food chart from the National Institute of Health to give you an idea of how much vitamin D you can find in certain foods:
|Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D|
|Food||IUs per serving*||Percent DV**|
|Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon||1,360||340|
|Swordfish, cooked, 3 ounces||566||142|
|Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces||447||112|
|Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces||154||39|
|Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies)||137||34|
|Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup||115-124||29-31|
|Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV)||80||20|
|Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon||60||15|
|Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines||46||12|
|Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces||42||11|
|Egg, 1 large (vitamin D is found in yolk)||41||10|
|Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV)||40||10|
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||6||2|
* IUs = International Units.
While testing may reveal you need more vitamin D, be sure you talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement and have your blood frequently tested to ensure your vitamin D levels are neither too low or too high as both can be bad for your health.
Keep in mind that not all supplements work the same way for everyone. You may need to try several before you find the best vitamin D supplement for you.