Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because it can be synthesized in the body using UV rays from sunlight. It’s a major player in keeping the human body healthy and is beneficial to mood, heart health, and immune health. Most notably, it aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which helps keep the bones strong.
The body produces vitamin D naturally when exposed to direct sunlight, but many people still don’t get enough of it. You can also obtain it from eating certain foods, but if you suffer from vitamin D deficiency, like millions of people around the world do, supplements are the best way to ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of the vitamin.
In this article, we check out the best vitamin D supplements on the market today. We’ll be looking at brands that offer it in the form of liquid, capsules, drops, gummies, and an option for kids.
Best Vitamin D Supplement: Who Needs to Take It?
Most people gain sufficient amounts of vitamin D from sunlight and food. However, some individuals may need to take a supplement to ensure they are getting enough of the nutrient. It comes in two forms: D2, which is found in non-animal foods like mushrooms, and D3, which is found in animals like fish. D3 is also the form the skin produces when exposed to sunlight.
Although we call vitamin D a vitamin, it’s technically not a vitamin. Instead, it’s a hormone that promotes the absorption of calcium in the body.
Low vitamin D intake can be caused by poor diet, lack of sun exposure, and malabsorption issues.
Typically, low vitamin D intake can be caused by poor diet, lack of sun exposure, and malabsorption issues. In terms of diet, those who follow a vegan eating plan are particularly at risk. Meat, fish, egg yolks, and dairy products are all foods that are rich in vitamin D, but vegans avoid them because they’re animal products.
People who get less exposure to sunlight, perhaps because they are housebound, work during the night, or maybe cover their skin for religious reasons, may also suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, those who live in colder regions may struggle to reach sufficient levels in winter.
Regarding malabsorption, certain conditions like inflammatory bowel disease may affect the gut’s ability to absorb vitamin D. Adding to the problem is that dietary restrictions may prevent people with these kinds of conditions from eating foods containing vitamin D.
There are several potential causes for vitamin D Deficiency. If you suspect you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, doctors can do a blood test to check your levels.
Below, we will look at the best vitamin D products to take if you need a boost.
Best Form of Vitamin D for Absorption
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for keeping the body going. However, even by exposing yourself to 20 minutes of sunlight each day or even consuming rich vitamin D foods, it doesn’t guarantee that your body is absorbing the dose needed.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to ensure our body absorbs the vitamin. Supplements can be a useful and convenient method of consuming vitamin D; however, it’s essential to check the quantity. It’s usually recommended to take between 1,000 to 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. Make sure the supplement contains the right dosage.
It’s also important to include other nutrients, like magnesium, vitamin K, and zinc, in your diet. These are all believed to speed up the absorption procedure. Additionally, vitamin D supplements should be taken with major meals of the day.
Regarding the best delivery method for absorption, a 2019 study discovered that vitamin D in gummy form could be more beneficial than capsules or tablets. Additionally, a 2017 study reported that liposomal vitamin D might enhance absorption.
Nevertheless, there are several ways to take vitamin D supplements, and each form comes with its own unique benefits. To compile our list of the best vitamin D brands on the market, we considered price, customer reviews, quality, and nutrient bioavailability. Here are our top five picks.
1. Best Liquid Vitamin D – Design for Health
Design for Health’s liquid vitamin D comes in the form of a liposomal formula that combines vitamin D with vitamins K1 and K2. One pump delivers 2,500 IU of vitamin D and 325 mcg of total vitamin K. It has a citrus flavor, and the liposomes reportedly mean this product is better absorbed than tablet forms of the vitamin. Pairing vitamin D with vitamin K may also help both nutrients work synergistically, enhancing each other’s effects.
2. Best Vitamin D Capsules – Now Foods
Now Foods vitamin D pills are great for those who want a quick, convenient, and easy way to get their vitamin D dose. Each capsule contains 5,000 IU (or 125mcg) and should be taken once every two days. These softgels also offer CGMP quality assurance and are available in quantities of either 120 or 240 pills.
3. Best Vitamin D Drops – Thorne
Thorne’s vitamin D/K2 drops come in a one-ounce bottle and deliver 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 200 mcg of vitamin K2. The brand is certified by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), making Thorne a trusted supplier in the supplement world. It’s recommended to take one to two drops daily (two drops contain 1,000 IU of vitamin D). You will get 600 servings in one bottle.
4. Best Vitamin D for Kids – Nordic Naturals
Nordic Naturals vitamin D for kids comes in the form of an unflavored liquid that provides 400 IU of vitamin D per drop. Everything made by Nordic Naturals is non-GMO and third-party lab tested, which means that these products meet high-quality standards. This vitamin D supplement is made with organic extra olive oil as the carrier oil. There are 365 servings per bottle.
5. Best Vitamin D Gummies – Nature’s Way
Nature’s Way vitamin D gummies are gluten-free and contain 2,000 IU of vitamin D per serving. A serving is equal to two gummies, which they recommend to consume daily. The gummies come in a mixed fruit flavor, and you get 120 per container – so they should last you at least two months. Nature’s Way is committed to excellence and is Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified, which indicates that the brand produces high-quality products.
Summary on Best Vitamin D Supplements
There are tons of vitamin D supplements in the market, and there is no denying that the number of choices can make finding the best vitamin D brand a little challenging. Ultimately, though, it all comes down to personal preference. If you like the idea of a supplement that is easy to use, Now Foods capsules may be the best option. But if you’re looking for something a little more exciting and tasty, perhaps you will prefer Nature’s Way gummies.
Third-party lab reports are an excellent way to verify that a supplement contains everything a company claims it does.
No matter which product you opt for, always make sure you buy from a trustworthy and reputable brand. It’s important that brands are transparent with clearly labeled products. Plus, third-party lab reports are an excellent way to verify that a supplement contains everything a company claims it does.