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Best Vitamin D Supplements Reviewed in 2019

last updated Jul 15, 2019
Vitamin D is known for strengthening bones as well as offering so much more. Enhancing your immune system, boosting moods, Vitamin D is the closest vitamin you will get to supplementing the goodness of the sun - without all the sunburn mess.

Furthermore, the best vitamin D supplements are proven to help with building bone density in those that suffer from osteoporosis. Our 10 Best Vitamin D Supplements won’t replace all the nutrients in your body but it is a good boost for keeping your deeper body parts stronger.

Scroll through and check out our list while catching up with those frequently asked questions and answers below. We’ve also given you a transparent look into why we use the search criteria that we do to find you the best options. It’s all strategically there to help speed up your search.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research

icon
Sports Research with Coconut Oil
97.6/100 our score
Effectiveness
99
Product Purity
98
Value
98
Ease of Use
96
Potency
97
Sports Research with Coconut Oil
Why is it better?

Excellent quality product/ attractive packaging

Made in the USA

Made with coconut oil, which has numerous health benefits

Gluten free

Emulsified for better absorption

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Sports Research with Coconut Oil
Test Winner: Sports Research with Coconut Oil
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1700
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
20
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
23
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Gabby Gabbard:

This update adds a couple of new supplements to the 10 Best Vitamin D Supplements line up. Solgar and NatureWise offer a pure gel tab form of vitamin D3. No additives mean better absorption from what we have seen. Solgar is a double the daily dose punch of calcium absorbing vitamin D3. Naturewise is a bit more organic and works at high levels of bioactive absorption. You can also scroll through after you check out what the best vitamin D supplements offer and get some answers to commonly asked questions. Out FAQs and Criteria sections are there to inform you so you can find the best supplement for you faster.

Sorting Options
Effectiveness Product Purity Value Ease of Use Potency By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.6
Effectiveness
99 %
Product Purity
98 %
Value
98 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Potency
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$15.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Effectiveness
95 %
Product Purity
96 %
Value
94 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Potency
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$12.55
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Effectiveness
91 %
Product Purity
91 %
Value
94 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Potency
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$16.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Effectiveness
95 %
Product Purity
90 %
Value
90 %
Ease of Use
84 %
Potency
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$25.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Effectiveness
94 %
Product Purity
88 %
Value
82 %
Ease of Use
84 %
Potency
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$15.67
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Effectiveness
90 %
Product Purity
94 %
Value
80 %
Ease of Use
92 %
Potency
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$14.41
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Effectiveness
90 %
Product Purity
82 %
Value
80 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Potency
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$13.85
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Effectiveness
87 %
Product Purity
86 %
Value
83 %
Ease of Use
78 %
Potency
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$33.02
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Effectiveness
75 %
Product Purity
80 %
Value
80 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Potency
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$30.35
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Effectiveness
91 %
Product Purity
85 %
Value
71 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Potency
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.07.19)
Amazon Link
$27.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Sports Research with Coconut Oil Sports Research with Coconut Oil
  • NatureWise NatureWise
  • Nature Made Nature Made
  • Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte
  • Caltrate Caltrate
  • Nordic Naturals Nordic Naturals
  • Bio-Tech Bio-Tech
  • MegaFood MegaFood
  • Solgar Vitamin D3 Solgar Vitamin D3
  • Country Life Vegan Country Life Vegan
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Vitamin D Supplements

1. Sports Research with Coconut Oil

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.6
Sports Research with Coconut Oil
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
99
Product Purity
98
Value
98
Ease of Use
96
Potency
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.95
Pros:

Excellent quality product/ attractive packaging

Made in the USA

Made with coconut oil, which has numerous health benefits

Gluten free

Emulsified for better absorption

Cons:

Some users experience unpleasant side effects / allergic reactions / no effect

Some customers complained about bad smelling pills or pills sticking together

Some users had a bad experience with the company in terms of customer service

Sports Research Vitamin D3 are capsules are an excellent source of vitamin D, designed for easy digestion, with the added benefit of coconut oil's plethora of uses

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Ingredients

Because these capsules contain coconut oil, they may appear “cloudy” due to its semi-solid state, not because they have gone bad or are defective. Coconut oil has many health benefits it could almost be considered a panacea. These benefits include beautiful skin and hair, increasing energy levels and anti-oxidants, hormone balance, and anti-aging. It also helps with weight loss, building muscle, reducing incidences of heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, various infections, and skin conditions, brain fog and Alzheimer’s symptoms, selective stomach problems, diabetes, and cancer.

Formulation

This supplement is gluten free which is safe for those with celiac disease.

Cost and Value

This is an excellent value – almost a year’s worth of pills (if taken once daily). With a 2-year shelf life, you don’t have to worry about them going bad if you forget to take them once and awhile.

2. NatureWise

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
NatureWise
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
95
Product Purity
96
Value
94
Ease of Use
95
Potency
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.55
Pros:

Free of fillers

Year supply

Pure organic oil

Cons:

Sometimes the pills stick together

NatureWise is a well-known brand name and rightfully so. They make sure to give you ingredients that work faster and never skimp on the dosage. Their Vitamin D3 gel is delivered in organic extra virgin olive oil, offering a more rapid biologically active absorption.

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Ingredients

Obviously, the main ingredient is Vitamin D3. Other than that, just your gel tab ingredients that were formulated without and additives: wheat, corn, dairy, fish or shellfish, eggs. NatureWise VataminD3 is pure sunshine encapsulated to get more to the bones and boosting immunity.

Follow the instructions given on the label and although tNatureWise doesn’t have any fillers, Always check for yourself on any supplement. They usually have warnings of allergy issues that have been reported.

Purity

It is hard not to mention purity after ingredients. When you get purer supplement ingredient, your obviously getting a purer product. Furthermore, the best vitamin d supplements are made so you are getting the easiest absorbed product.

If you have too many other ingredients that are useless, it steers away from the effectiveness as well as purity. It is very simple to find out how pure a product is and after reading Naturewise’s label and the reviews, it was easy to see they offer some solid vitamin D.

Application

This is another gel tablet option. These are popular due to the ability to keep the supplement purer and rapidly absorbed into the body. Assisting you in getting as much calcium and phosphorus you can in a daily dose.

NatureWise Vitamin D3 is made with higher bioactive organic ingredients, which is always a plus for the body. Furthermore, these are going you 5,000IUs of the pure Vitamin D3. This is the suggested daily need.

Value

You can get a years supply of NatureWise Vitamin D3 Supplements for less than some greeting cards cost. That is a pretty impressive deal. It is pure, absorbs well, and offers all the daily dose of D you need in it’s purest form.

3. Nature Made

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Nature Made
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
91
Product Purity
91
Value
94
Ease of Use
95
Potency
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$16.95
Pros:

Easy to take the pill, about half the size of a pea

Safety / anti-tampering feature for the bottle

Vegan

No aftertaste

US Pharmacopeia Certified

Cons:

Some users complained about the pills sticking together

Only 1000 IUs, which may not be enough for some users.

Some users have had negative side effects

May Contain GMOs (at least according to one user)

Nature Made Vitamin D3 1000 IU, Value Size, 180-Count Softgels are a vegan easy to swallow USP certified product.

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Variability

You can find a range of potencies with these Nature Made vitamins. You won't have a hard time finding the right amount for you ranging from 1000 IUs to 5000 IUs.

Trusted and certified

These soft gels are US Pharmacopeia Certified, which means that the manufacturer initially sent samples of their product to an outside lab to be tested. The agency retests one (1) to six (6) times yearly from samples they pick up in the store. This is the only product on the list to have such a certification.

Cost and Value

These vitamins are an excellent value in terms of cost for a soft gel product. If taken once daily, there’s about a 10 month supply in each bottle. Cost is lower for lower potency and rises a bit for higher potencies.

4. Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
95
Product Purity
90
Value
90
Ease of Use
84
Potency
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$25.00
Pros:

Formula reduces the risk of hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the blood)

Liquid formula for better absorption

The bottle lasts a long time

Effective

Recommended by Naturopaths

Cons:

Difficult to get “proper” sized drops

Some users may not like the side effects/ taste/ consistency

Some users have received out of date products.

Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte-- 2000 IU is a liquid form of the vitamin, specially designed for easy absorption.

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Liquid

The Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte Vitamin D is a liquid form that has “microemulsion” for easy absorption – useful to know if you want maximum absorption.

Packaging

The liquid comes in an easy dispense container something like an “eye dropper” to help avoid accidental overdosing.

Cost and Value

This is an excellent value for liquid vitamin D drops, but users should beware of the taste/ consistency of the product.

5. Caltrate

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Caltrate
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
94
Product Purity
88
Value
82
Ease of Use
84
Potency
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.67
Pros:

Contains calcium and vitamin D3

Best selling calcium supplement

FDA approved

Strict quality control

Cons:

Large pills

Slightly expensive

As runners our bones are extremely important and if you're over the age of 30 and not taking a calcium supplement or getting a lot through your diet you will start to lose bone density which can increase your risk of injury and lessen your overall health. That's why we included this calcium supplement that also has 800 IU of vitamin D3 which is two times the recommended daily allowance. The vitamin D3 helps the body to absorb the calcium to assist in giving you and your bones optimum health.

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Effectiveness and Product Purity

The combination of 600mg of calcium and 800 IU's of vitamin D3 make this option very effective at increasing and maintaining bone health. The company's supplements are all FDA approved and they maintain strict quality control standards of all the ingredients in their products.

Value and Ease of Use

Because of the inclusion of calcium this one is a little more expensive than other options but is still a good deal because you're getting two supplements for the price of one. At just over a quarter of an inch long these are a little larger than most on our list but they have a smooth coating to help them go down easy.

Potency

These have just the right amount of vitamin D3 and calcium that your body needs when you take it once a day.

6. Nordic Naturals

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Nordic Naturals
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
90
Product Purity
94
Value
80
Ease of Use
92
Potency
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.41
Pros:

Great company with solid values

Third party tested and verified

Easy to swallow

Non-GMO

Cons:

Pills may stick together

Easy to order the wrong product because of labeling similarities with their other vitamins so read carefully

This is a high quality option that is third party verified for quality. It supplies 1,000 IU (International Units, the standard for measuring fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D) per softgel which is a good daily dose. It will help keep your bones healthy by assisting your body in the absorbption of calcium and reviewers liked how easy the small pills were to take and appreciated the high quality from this solid company.

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Effectiveness and Product Purity

At 1,000 IU or 25 mcg (1 mcg=1 millionth of a gram) this option provides the user with the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for people who don't regularly get enough sun. The company uses third party verification to test their purity, and the ingredients are ethically sourced, natural, and certified non-GMO.

Value and Ease of Use

Despite coming from one of the best vitamin companies this product doesn't cost much per pill. They come in small, easy to swallow soft gels that reviewers felt were very easy to swallow.

Potency

This is the perfect dose to help your body absorb calcium for strong bones, which is obviously super important for runners, without being so much that there's excess that is excreted and wasted.

7. Bio-Tech

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Bio-Tech
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
90
Product Purity
82
Value
80
Ease of Use
80
Potency
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.85
Pros:

50,000 of Vitamin D

Halal certified

Users have reported a reduction or even elimination of various health problems

Effective for vitamin D level maintenance

Works as well as prescription vitamins (for some users)

Cons:

Some users will find 50,000 too high of a dose/ experience negative side effects

Some users received bottles that were about to expire or already expired.

Not all users will see the effect

Low bio-availability by itself (some users have suggested taking with Vitamin K2 to help with absorption)

Bio-Tech’s capsules contain 50,000 IUs of cholecalciferol, the highest dosage of Vitamin D on this list. This may be an option if your doctor prescribes a vitamin D supplement.

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Key Features

Bio-Tech’s D3 Contains 50,000 IUs, which provides a solid amount in one pill. If the user has been prescribed a supplement, these may work.

Easy to use

Many people have reported that this pill is fairly easy to swallow and it won't wreak havoc on your stomach. On top of the fact that it is supremely potent and effective, it is a solid option to consider.

Cost and Value

This is an average (if a tad high) price for these caps, but not many brands on the market contain 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D.

8. MegaFood

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
MegaFood
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
87
Product Purity
86
Value
83
Ease of Use
78
Potency
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$33.02
Pros:

All Natural / Non-GMO certified

Vegetarian & Food based

Thoroughly tested

Easily digested

Cons:

Contains yeast: not suitable for those prone to yeast infections

Contains Lanolin

Pill form (and “pill smell!” according to some users)

MegaFood aims to increase optimal immune functioning and improved overall health balance. This company uses dehydrated food as the basis of its vitamins and is backed by scientific lab testing to determine which ones are the best quality for their products. Their process ensures that their product is easily digestible. To ensure the utmost quality of their products, their products are tested multiple times.

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Responsibly made

For those who are concerned about consuming GMOs, this product is Non-GMO certified. This means that everything from the seeds through harvest, transport through processing and everything in-between are certified to be organic.

Form

Users will also want to know that this is in a hard pill/ tablet form (as opposed to a gel cap, soft gel or liquid formula), as some find them to be less effective

Cost and Value

This is an expensive product in terms of cost, that’s for sure! The pills, if taken daily are only about a 3 month supply. Given that they have multiple layers of testing, the fact that it is a non-GMO certified, vegetarian, food-based product; it’s well worth the cost.

9. Solgar Vitamin D3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Solgar Vitamin D3
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
75
Product Purity
80
Value
80
Ease of Use
91
Potency
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$30.35
Pros:

High Purity

No fillers

High IU

Solgar Vitamin D3 supplement offers a whole lot in a dose while staying free of unnatural additives and filler. The company has been around for three-quarters of a century and we would say that is a good amount of tie to really become an expert on just about anything. Their vitamin D supplement is just one great product on their list and obviously a best option based on our research; that’s why it's on our top 10.

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Ingredients

What Solgar Vitamin D3 Supplement doesn't have is more impressive. No wheat, soy, dairy, yeast, artificial flavoring, etc, etc. Moreover, it offers 10,000 IU’s of pure Vitamin D3.

The gel tab is vegan-friendly and gives a small number of plant protein to vitamin D as well. Other than that, you’re getting an easy to take, fast absorbing, a large dose of Vitamin D, enhancing your mood, immunity, and bones.

Purity

This is all in the ingredients. Their guarantee on their supplements says a lot as well as their extensive background in creating and designing them. The only other ingredients are what makes up the gel tab and even those are solid plant derivatives.

You can be sure you are getting some of the purest vitamin D3 available. There isn’t even any preservatives or coloring to them. Pretty basic natural stuff, helping to keep you strong.

Application

We’ll use this her to help you understand that application is also associated with absorption. Your body can slowly lose the ability to absorb vitamin D. The best Vitamin D supplements, whether pill, gel or powder, should be easy to absorb and give you enough to push through the blocks.

Solgar made their best vitamin D3 supplement as easy to absorb as the sun is on your skin. You get that pure healthy natural dose that works rather from the inside out.

Value

These are a very well budgeted option. You get 120 tabs that you only need to take once a day. That is 4 months worth at this rate and for a very low cost.

We think that is pretty impressive and shows they are a company or the consumer's health over profit. Consumers seem to agree as well based off claims and reviews we researched. These are great buy from a reliable company.

10. Country Life Vegan

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Country Life Vegan
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
91
Product Purity
85
Value
71
Ease of Use
85
Potency
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$27.99
Pros:

Certified vegan

Easy to swallow

Highly effective

Cons:

Expensive

Because most sources of vitamin D come from animal-based sources such as lanolin and fish oil it can be difficult for vegans to get enough of this crucial vitamin. That's why we made sure to include a vegan product on our list, and this one is highly effective and several reviewers remarked how after taking it for an extended period their levels of vitamin D tested much, much higher than before taking the supplement.

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Effectiveness and Product Purity

This option does a great job of increasing the levels of vitamin D3 in your body, and reviewers who had taken it consistently had the test results to prove it. The company takes great pride in sourcing their ingredients from reputable sources and this supplement has been certified vegan and uses 100% natural plant-based sources of D3.

Value and Ease of Use

As with most vegan D3 supplements, this one is a little expensive because it takes a much higher quantity of plant-based ingredients to provide a high dose of D3 than it does when it comes from animal sources. Users reported that the softgels were small and easy to swallow.

Potency

Customers reported highly increased levels of D3 after taking this consistently.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

We all know that any type of supplement can be costly. The last thing you want to do is to spend a large amount of money on a product that you think is going to be quality, only to find out that it’s subpar. The same goes for purchasing your vitamin D supplements. If this is something that you intend to use regularly, then you should make sure that it’s appropriate for your health, and that it’s going to do what it’s supposed to do. These are usually an option for people that have to work all day, or for those who work midnight shifts. There are plenty of situations that can deprive you of a healthy amount of vitamin D and it’s essential to make sure that you’re getting everything you need to stay at the top of your game.

Individuals who are over the age of 50 (and especially over the age of 70) are at an increased risk for naturally decreasing Vitamin D levels. Other signs of potential Vitamin D deficiency include overall malaise and fatigue, achy joints and bones, profuse head sweating, and gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas, nausea, and just general stomach pain.

Some people still believe that it’s a good idea to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. Unfortunately, this can lead to unnecessary UV exposure that can result in skin cancer. It’s always better to try to adjust your diet to increase your vitamin D levels rather than spending an excessive amount of time in the sun. In reality, the sun provides a tiny percentage of your overall vitamin D intake. The majority of what you’re getting is coming from your diet, and this is why supplements may be a better idea. There’s no reason to go out and damage your skin when there are plenty of healthy alternatives.

Most of us work full-time or part-time jobs, go to school, have families and extracurricular activities and other priorities that take up our days. Not to mention, depending on where you live, you might not even see the sun for six months out of the year (hey there, Alaskans!) or it might be just too bitter and cold to step outside with bare skin to soak up the rays. It is where a Vitamin D supplement can come in handy, but again, if it does not boost your Vitamin D levels, then it is not going to do you any good.

When you regularly take a Vitamin D supplement, you will likely start to develop stronger bones and healthier teeth. It is because one of the main functions of Vitamin D (and thus, proof of effectiveness) is that it helps the body take in and absorb calcium that is in the intestines, which would otherwise be excreted through the kidneys. But besides bone health, Vitamin D can be one of your greatest defenses against overall fatigue and illness (especially illnesses like the common cold and the flu) and can keep serotonin levels balanced and your mental health on track. Luckily, we took all of these health benefits into consideration when we chose which Vitamin D supplements were best. The supplements included in our list will effectively help you increase and maintain healthy bone health, show off a beautiful smile, combat tiredness, and sickness even during the long winter months when everyone around you seems to be ailing, and help keep you happy!

Product Purity

As runners and athletes, we're concerned and conscious of what we put in our bodies which is why we looked at the purity of all the products on our list. It might be surprising, but the vitamin D3 in vitamin D supplements actually comes from the lanolin in sheep's wool, and sometimes from fish oil although that tends to be quite a bit more expensive. That's why you'll also find some vegan supplements. The vitamin D in these products is vitamin D2 and typically comes from lichens. Vitamin D2 and D3 are both very effective at raising your levels of vitamin D, but D3 will keep those levels elevated for a more extended amount of time than D2 and thus be much more effective. So unless you are indeed a vegan we recommend taking a vitamin D3 supplement instead of a vegan sourced vitamin D2. There are some vegan vitamin D3 supplements available, and we included one on our list, they tend to be rather expensive.

Value

When creating our list of Vitamin D supplements, we paid close attention to what each supplement costs. A daily supplement routine should not cost you a ton of money. In short, you should not have to sacrifice health just because you live on a limited budget. Our list of Vitamin D supplements run a bit of a wide range of price (mostly due to what ingredients are contained in the supplement) ranging from just eight dollars a bottle up to $32. However, more important than just total cost of each bottle of pills is the number of pills contained in each bottle because that will give an indicator of how long each bottle will last (and thus, how far you can stretch your dollar). On average, you can find around 100 capsules in each bottle, though some are as much as 200 and over.

The number of pills in each bottle will give you an idea of what the per serving cost will be (which is the REAL indicator of value). Per serving costs on our bottles range from just 2 cents per serving up to nearly 35 cents. However, the price is only one piece of the puzzle. We want you to be getting the very best VALUE for your money, which is determined by cost but also by several other factors.

Things that give value to a supplement are how long the pills will last, how much Vitamin D is contained in each tablet, the quality of ingredients used to create the supplement and how easily taking the supplement can fit into your schedule, etc. Considering all of these components of ‘value’ is what helped us narrow down our list to the ten Vitamin D supplements we have included here, so you can be sure that you are getting the best overall value for your money.

Ease of Use

Can you easily swallow pills? Some adults, and especially children, need to take medicines and drugs only in liquid or chewable forms because they cannot swallow pills – either due to a personal aversion or are very sensitive to the size and have trouble taking any pills too large. If you prefer a liquid or chewable tablet, then our list has some great options for you – particularly the Nature Made Adult gummies and the Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Formula that is a liquid.

Potency

You need 600IU per day of vitamin D. This is a number though, that can vary depending on what activities you do and how much you are naturally exposed to the sun in your daily routine. You can take the supplement directly or in a formulation included in a multivitamin that you can get over the counter. For your body to absorb the most value the supplement can offer, you should take it with your most substantial meal of the day. It is best to ingest it when you have eaten a food source containing good fats, which most often, tends to be your most substantial meal of the day. Don’t take it on an empty stomach; it will be less effective.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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Don't Get SAD!

There's a common mood-related disorder that can occur around the winter time to people who live in areas that don't get a lot of sun. This is known as seasonal affectiveness disorder, or SAD for short, which can cause depression and a lack of motivation. One of the common causes of this disorder is a lack of Vitamin D, so be sure to supplement your diet if you're expecting many overcast days.

Great With Fish Oil

On the subject of vitamins and minerals of which a surprising number of people have deficiencies, fish oil is another supplement worth adding to your collection. In addition to helping ward off mental issues such as depression, fish oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help to improve your cardiovascular health.

Other Factors to Consider

Use

Does skin cancer run in your family? While skin cancer is not just strictly an inherited disease, and ANYONE can get it by too much sun exposure, those who have a family history of skin cancer are far more likely to contract the disease than others who are not genetically predisposed to it. If you do, then getting your Vitamin D from the sun is probably not the best idea, and serves as a good reason to think about supplementing your diet with a Vitamin D supplement to increase your Vitamin D amounts.

Do you have osteoporosis, osteopenia, or just weak and/or brittle bones in general? One of the main functions Vitamin D serves is to help your bones and body properly absorb calcium, as well as phosphorous. Calcium intake and absorption is critical for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, so if you are a runner prone to stress fractures, or if you know you have osteoporosis or osteopenia or are on the verge of developing these conditions, focus not only on upping your calcium intake but also your vitamin D intake.

Are you pregnant? If you are pregnant and deficient in adequate levels of Vitamin D, you might be at a greater risk of developing preeclampsia (a condition that typically develops later on in the third trimester of pregnancy that can cause high blood pressure, kidney damage, and other potentially fatal side effects when not taken care of properly) and needing to give birth via a cesarean section.

Vitamin D deficient pregnant women are also more prone to develop gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis. However, the answer is not to load up on and get your hands on as much Vitamin D as you possibly can if you are pregnant because if you get TOO much Vitamin D when you are pregnant, your child will have an increased risk of developing food allergies during their first couple years of life.

What is your skin complexion? Dark skin does not absorb sunlight as readily as fair skin does. This is why skin cancer is less commonly found among darker skinned individuals. However, this can also be problematic when it comes to Vitamin D and Vitamin D intake. Darker complexions will not absorb Vitamin D from sunlight as readily and as easily as fair-skinned individuals. If you are darker skinned, it would be a wise choice to start incorporating Vitamin D into your daily supplement routine to make sure you do not run the risk of developing a Vitamin D deficiency.

Potency

One of the big advantages of taking in vitamins and minerals through supplements is that, because these drugs are synthetically created and closely monitored, they will often offer certain health benefits and special features that are important to consumers. Some of the key features we focused on when comparing Vitamin D supplements (aside from their effectiveness) were things like how easy the pills are to swallow, the length of shelf life of the supplement, the taste and smell of the supplement, and how well they fit into specialty diets.

Easy to swallow: For the Vitamin D supplement options on our list that are sold in pill form, we took into account how easy (or not) they are to swallow. The majority of the traditional pill forms on our list are very small, easy to swallow, and dissolve super quickly (yet they still pack in enough Vitamin D to easily help you reach appropriate levels in the blood). However, if you just really prefer a non-pill form when taking your supplements, we have a few options that are sold in liquid forms or chewable tablets (and thus, very easy to swallow).

Length of Shelf Life: We know that being healthy and getting in the right amounts of vitamins and minerals into your diet is important to you, but we also understand that sometimes, life gets in the way and despite our best efforts to be regimented and disciplined about our supplement routine, things fall by the wayside. Early mornings happen, late nights packed with events get in the way, and sometimes we just forget. But that does not mean the supplements we have invested so much money into should just go bad on us so quickly. Luckily, we took into account how long each of the Vitamin D supplements on our list will last in your medicine cabinet.

Generally, supplements sold as pills will last longer than those sold as liquids. Therefore, if shelf life is of a major concern to you, go with one of the options on our list that is sold as a pill. The FDA even suggests that, for the vast majority of supplements on the market today, shelf life actually extends up to a year past what is printed as the expiration date on the bottle. Still, be sure to be mindful of expiration dates. For the most part, supplements will last well over two years after you buy them, and some as long as five.

Taste and smell: For foods, and even some medicines, you are interested in options that smell appealing and taste great. However, in the case of most supplements, – especially supplements sold in pill form – it is what you DO NOT smell or taste that are actually the best options. For the most part, the Vitamin D supplements on our list don’t have much of a smell or taste at all – and if they do (like the Nature Made Adult Gummies) then they actually taste quite pleasant. However, it is good to know that even though products made from natural sources and organic ingredients might be considered “healthier” or “safer” by some consumers, they also have higher chances of smelling foul or tasting bitter because they do not have artificial preservatives in them to keep away a bad smell or taste. (But if they do smell or taste a little funny, that also does not mean they have gone bad or rancid either!)

Specialty diets: If you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, or have committed to the sometimes tough changes and challenges it takes to stick to a specialty diet plan like the ketogenic diet, Paleo, Whole 30, or just making swaps and sacrifices to focus on getting in more locally sourced, organic, and non-GMO foods, then you definitely do not want your supplements to throw off all your hard work! We looked for Vitamin D supplements that fit into a wide variety of specialty diets. Many of the ones included in our list are produced and created from organic and natural sources. With many of the options on our list, you can feel secure in knowing you are consuming a product that is not made from GMOs, nor do most of them have added sweeteners, sodium, dairy, or artificial colors and preservatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How much vitamin D is recommended?

a:

Fat soluble vitamins, like Vitamin D (and Vitamin A and E), are measured in “international units” (IU) and are used to calculate the recommended amounts. Different people at varying stages of life need different amounts of Vitamin D each day. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends a 400 IU of Vitamin D each day for babies ranging newborn to one year.

Then for everyone else, ranging 12 months all the way to 70 years of age, it is suggested that 600 IU of Vitamin D be consumed each day (this also holds true for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding). For adults over the age of 70, the Food and Nutrition Board recommends around 800 IU a day. (The daily recommendations by the United States government and FDA are a bit lower than this, but it is largely agreed upon by experts that the FDA’s recommendation is too low, so we have listed the slightly higher recommended amounts).

q: What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

a:

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency in children include developing rickets, which is a disease characterized by severe bowleggedness, as well as brittle/ soft bones and mineralization of bones. In adults, osteoporosis or osteopenia are common symptoms of having too little Vitamin D, as well as poor bone health and frequent fractures (especially of the spine, femur, and humerus). Adults and children will also experience low bone density and weak muscles.

q: Who is most at risk for vitamin D deficiency?

a:

In short, the Vitamin D Council claims that amounts found in the blood over 150 ng/ml are toxically high levels of Vitamin D. Unfortunately, even if you cease taking a Vitamin D supplement to decrease your Vitamin D levels, chances are it will stay at this toxically high level for up to several months. This is because Vitamin D is stored in body fat and released into the bloodstream very slowly, so even if you are not actively consuming Vitamin D, it will not automatically halt that slow release into the blood.

Fortunately, toxicity of vitamin D is a very rare occurrence and typically only happens in people who have been taking extremely high doses of Vitamin D for a very long time. (You also cannot reach these dangerously high Vitamin D levels through dietary intake or sun exposure alone – only from Vitamin D supplements.)

q: What foods and beverages are good sources of vitamin D?

a:

It is a good thing that our bodies can produce its own vitamin D from sun exposure because getting adequate vitamin D amounts from food is not an easy thing – not a ton of foods are natural vitamin D sources. Some of the most common foods with the highest sources vitamin D are highly fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Other foods that have limited vitamin D amounts include fatty beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and many foods today are fortified with Vitamin D like pasteurized dairy milks, breakfast cereals, and some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and soy.

q: How much will a vitamin D supplement cost me?

a:

From the options on our list, a bottle of vitamin D will range from just $8 all the way up to almost $40. The average cost of a vitamin D supplement, however, usually hovers around $15 to $20.

q: Are there places where vitamin D is more vital for physical health?

a:

Certainly. For those who live in areas that see substantially less sunlight during certain periods of the year, it becomes more important to supplement the vitamin D intake to make up for what you lose due to the lack of sunlight.

Sources

  1. Deborah Kotz, US News, Article
  2. Life Enhancement, Life Enhancement, Website
  3. Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD, Website
  4. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Website