The 8 Best Vitamin D Supplements of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Help maintain strong bones with this sunshine in a bottle formula

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Best Vitamin D Supplements

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Our Top Picks
"Provides 1,000 IU in a small capsule form."
"A great option for anyone looking to improve their Vitamin D levels without taking a supplement daily."
"Caltrate combines Vitamin D3 with 600 milligrams of calcium, making this product a great choice for bone health."
"For those who want to supplement a wholesome diet and lifestyle with a high-quality, trusted supplement."
"Combines Vitamin D3 with extracts from whole foods such as broccoli leaf, brown rice, parsley, carrot, and beetroot."
"Budget-friendly D3 supplement that ranks highest in quality."
"Each Non-GMO softgel contains 2,500 IU of vitamin D3 from lanolin, a vegetarian, sustainable, and safe source."
"Each great-tasting, wild-berry flavored gummy vitamin provides 1,000 IU of vitamin D3."

Although we call Vitamin D a vitamin, it really is not a vitamin at all. Vitamins are substances that the body needs in small amounts from food because we cannot synthesize them independently. Vitamin D differs from other vitamins because the body can make it with exposure to sunlight. Interacting with more than 30 different tissues in the body and affecting more than 1,000 genes, Vitamin D is important for many body processes, not just bone health. Vitamin D also supports immune function, muscle strength, disease prevention, and mood stability.

Unfortunately, Vitamin D intake is widely insufficient throughout the United States. Low Vitamin D intake can be caused by poor diet, lack of sun exposure, and malabsorption issues. It is important to note that in order to maximize the use of the following supplements, these products should be taken with meals to support adequate absorption. As always, speak with your health care provider before adding a supplement to your routine.

Here are the best Vitamin D supplements for your dietary needs.

Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3-25 mcg

Nordic Naturals D3 1,000 IU is an excellent product that is budget-friendly, non-GMO, and third-party tested. It's also free of gluten, dairy, and additives. The mini soft-gels are easy to swallow, which is perfect for those who have trouble swallowing pills.

Each soft gel contains 1,000 IU, or 125%, of the RDA for vitamin D. The easily assimilated form of vitamin D is encapsulated with organic, extra virgin olive oil, flavored with natural orange, and preserved with rosemary extract.

NatureWise Vitamin D3

Although there are some concerns that too much vitamin D can be bad for your health, some believe that more is better. NatureWise Vitamin D3 5,000 IU is a great option for anyone looking to improve their Vitamin D levels without taking a supplement daily. Unlike a dose of 1,000 or 2,000 IU that can be taken every day, a higher dose of 5,000 IU could be taken every other day, or a few times per week, which is nice for anyone who may have trouble with supplement compliance.

Naturewise boosts the efficacy of each capsule by combining organic extra-virgin olive oil with the D3 to support absorption. Non-GMO and gluten-free, Naturewise also claims to use third-party laboratories to test their products for quality assurance. 

Caltrate Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement Tablet

Calcium and vitamin D go hand-in-hand when it comes to supporting healthy bones. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so the combination of the two nutrients into one tablet makes sense. Beyond bones, this combo may also help promote healthy nerves, hormones, and teeth.

Caltrate combines 800 IU of vitamin D3 with 600 milligrams of calcium, making this product a great choice for bone health. More than half of American women don’t get enough calcium, so this is a convenient way to make sure you do. If you are someone who consumes dairy three to four times per day and takes a multivitamin, you may be consuming too much calcium with this supplement. It is important to note that the upper tolerable level (UL) for calcium is 2,000-2,500 mg per day for adults 19-50 and over 50 years old respectively.

Good to Know

If taking multiple supplements, it is always important to add up the amounts of a single nutrient across products, take an inventory of your diet, and check with a health professional to make sure you are not consuming too much of one thing. 

Solgar has been in the dietary supplement industry for over 70 years and is a trusted source for supplements that are free of harmful additives and common allergens. Solgar’s vitamin D3 1,000 IU is a fabulous option for those who want to supplement a wholesome diet and lifestyle. Each soft gel contains 1,000 IU—or 250%—of the RDA for vitamin D.

Vitamin D is especially important as you age. A meta-analysis of clinical trials published in the British Journal of Medicine in 2009 found that taking 700 to 1000 IU per day of vitamin D3 lowered the risk of falls among older individuals by 19%.

MegaFood Vitamin D3 Tablets

MegaFood Vitamin D3 Tablets

Megafood is one of the most trusted brands in the supplement industry because of its commitment to transparency. Consumers can head to Megafood’s website and observe product production live 24/7. In order to establish maximum efficacy of this supplement, Megafood combines the vitamin D3 with extracts from whole foods such as broccoli leaf, brown rice, parsley, carrot, and beetroot to supply the necessary cofactors that support D3 absorption. 

Each tablet contains 50 micrograms, or 2,000 IU, of fermented vitamin D3. The product is Non-GMO Project Verified, tested for over 125 herbicides and pesticides, and free of dairy, gluten, and soy.

Nature Made Vitamin D3 2000 IU

If you're looking for a budget-friendly D3 supplement that ranks highest in quality, Nature Made is an excellent choice. The USP-Verified supplement is trusted for its potency and dependable quality, and as a brand, Nature Made is known for creating affordable and effective vitamins. Each easy-to-swallow softgel contains 2,000 IU of highly bioavailable vitamin D3.

Research suggests that vitamin D supports the innate immune system, or body's first line of defense against pathogens. Adding a supplement like Nature Made's D3 may help to support your immunity.

If you're searching for the best gluten-free Vitamin D supplement, Country Life vitamin D3 is a top pick. The Certified Gluten-Free supplement is also free of yeast, corn, wheat, soy, milk, salt, sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Each Non-GMO soft gel contains 2,500 IU of vitamin D3 from lanolin, a vegetarian, sustainable, and safe source.

Choosing Country Life vitamin D3 promotes optimal bone health and the health of the planet. The vitamins are manufactured with renewable energy and meet the standards for FDA's GMP standards.

Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies

Gummies are an easy and delicious way to get the vitamin D you need for healthy bones, a mood boost, and optimal immunity. Each of Nordic Naturals' great-tasting, wild-berry flavored gummies provides 1,000 IU of vitamin D3.

While these gummies contain two grams of added sugar per serving, the forms of sweeteners used—organic tapioca syrup and cane sugar—are preferable to artificial sweeteners. These top-quality gummies are also non-GMO Verified, third-party purity tested, and NSF-Certified.

Final Verdict

For an excellent, high-quality vitamin D supplement, try Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 1,000IU (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in a Vitamin D Supplement

Form:

Supplemental vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). They differ in chemistry but also in manufacturing. Supplement forms of D2 are derived from plant-based yeast, whereas supplemental D3 is usually made from animal-sourced lanolin.

Dose:

The RDA for vitamin D for adults and children aged 1-70 years is 600 IU. There is an Upper Limit of 4,000 IU for adults over the age of 19. Always speak with your physician regarding whether you need a vitamin D supplement and what dose is best.

Other Ingredients:

Some vitamin D supplements contain calcium or other complementary ingredients. Always read the label to check what is in the supplement and consider all the supplements and medications you take. Speak with a physician to ensure you are not exceeding a recommended dose.

FAQs

What does vitamin D do in the body?

Vitamin D is involved in many essential processes in the human body, including calcium regulation, cell growth, immune response, bone health, and glucose metabolism. One of the most important roles of calcium in the body is promoting calcium absorption in the digestive tract and maintaining serum calcium and phosphate levels within the normal range. Calcium regulation is the primary mechanism behind involuntary muscle contractions, including those of the heart. Additionally, Vitamin D works with calcium to support optimal bone growth and maintenance.

The relationship between vitamin D and the reduction of inflammation in immune response has been an important area of study. Evidence suggests that individuals low in vitamin D may be at higher risk for unfavorable outcomes of disease and infection. Research also shows that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels may be an effective intervention for the prevention of insulin resistance diseases like diabetes.

Can you take too much vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means our body can store it, and therefore there is a risk of vitamin D toxicity with over-supplementation. Toxic levels of vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia (high serum calcium levels) which can cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and loss of appetite. In extreme cases, excessive vitamin D intake from supplements can cause the calcification (or hardening) of soft tissue, leading to organ failure.

Defined by the National Food and Nutrition Board, the ULs (Tolerable Upper Intake Levels) for vitamin D for men and women over the age of 19 is 100 micrograms (4,000 IU). The RDA for men and women between the ages of 18 and 70 years old is 15 micrograms (600 IU).

What Experts Say

"While vitamin D supplementation may be necessary for some during winter or times when there is minimal sun exposure, the body naturally makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Regular exposure of about 15 minutes (without sunscreen) to midday sunlight a few times a week may be adequate to maintain optimal vitamin D levels. There are also many food sources of vitamin D such as fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs, cheese, and fortified milk." Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted by her against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients but she would take them herself if needed.

Anne Cook Carroll, MS, RD contributed to the FAQs.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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