As defined by the National Institute of Health, Vitamin D3 is, “A fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger Vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts.”* (NIH, p.1)
Some people may ask, what is the main difference between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3? As explained by Sandi Busch of Demand Media, “There are two different forms of Vitamin D: Vitamins D-2 and D-3. Vitamin D-2, or ergocalciferol, is the form made by mushrooms from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D-3, which is also called cholecalciferol, is the type that’s made in your skin. Both types must be converted into the hormone calcitriol before they’re active and able to benefit your body. Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as calciferol, but it’s used as an umbrella term to include Vitamins D-2 and D-3. Even though both forms can be manufactured for supplements, Vitamin D-3 that's made from sheep's lanolin is more commonly used, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.”* (Busch, p.1)
Vitamin D in any form is extremely important for the health of your bones, and the absorption rate of calcium. It is a crucial factor in making sure you have enough calcium in your body, because without Vitamin D no matter how much calcium you took in it would never be absorbed into your body properly. On top of calcium absorption, Vitamin D plays a huge role in cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, as well as the decrease of inflammation in the body.
Vitamin D3 Overdose Warning
There is a risk for Vitamin D overdose, as silly as it sounds the repercussions are real. As explained by Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic, The medical name for a Vitamin D overdose is hypervitaminosis D, and while rare, it can be caused by too many supplements taken orally. The build up of calcium in your blood, which is also called hypercalcemia, can pose serious threats to your health such as nausea, poor appetite, vomiting, weakness, and kidney problems.* This condition rarely, if ever, happens from sun exposure or foods that contain Vitamin D. The average dosage per supplement per adult a day is 600 IU, and toxicity can occur if 50,000 IU of Vitamin D supplements are taken daily for several months. (Zeratsky, p.1).
While an overdose on Vitamin D is not common, it is more common to see it in people who are regularly taking supplements throughout the week. It is wise to speak with your doctor if you are interested in taking Vitamin D supplements (or any for that matter) if you are taking medication for a health condition. While it hasn’t been seen to interfere with medication, it is always better to be cautious. If you have kidney problems, diabetes, or glucose control problems always consult a doctor before taking the supplements below.
Which Vitamin D3 Supplements Work?
With a laundry list of Vitamin D3 supplements to choose from, finding one that’s effective, safe and affordable can be difficult and confusing if you don’t know what you are looking for. While most products work to some degree, there are brands that are reputable, and definitely work better than others. These top 5 Vitamin D3 supplements below use effective ingredients, and proper dosage amounts to better service your health and vitamin D3 needs.
While most foods by nature are not prevalent in providing large amounts of Vitamin D, there are some foods more saturated than others such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.* There are small amounts of Vitamin D2 found in mushrooms, beef, liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Be cautious as there are many different ways to get Vitamin D outside of eating foods and taking supplements, such as exposure to the sun. This can cause threats such as skin cancer, so be cautious and wear sunscreen if you are going to be out in the rays.
We researched the top selling Vitamin D3 supplements on the market today, and found the ones that will most effectively help you get a quality product, in the perfect serving size that will be most effective for your body to absorb.
Top 5 Vitamin D3 Supplements
#1 Vitamin D3 By Sports Research: This Vitamin supplement is made in the USA, by Sports Research, and has gotten fantastic reviews. It delivers the same biologically active form of Vitamin D produced in the body if you were to sit in direct sunlight (without the risk of UVB exposure). In this particular bottle there are 360 soft mini gels loaded with 5,000 IU worth of Vitamin D3 for $15.95 plus shipping. Because this is a fat-soluble vitamin, it has to be taken with some sort of fat for better absorption, so this product is made with organic virgin coconut oil, which is a healthy fat. Note that the capsules may appear cloudy due to the presence of the coconut oil in the tablets. This product does not contain wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, egg, peanut, fish, yeast, fillers, binders, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.* To order this Vitamin D3 Supplement off of Amazon.com click here.
#2 Viva Labs Vitamin D3 Supplement: This pure Vitamin D3 supplement has also gotten wonderful reviews from its customers, and it is also made in the USA at an FDA registered and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility. Each soft gel comes with a dosage of 5,000 IU, with 360 servings in one bottle for $12.30 per bottle. The capsules contain olive oil, which is a healthy fat for
better absorption in the body, and helps to build up serotonin levels, maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as improve the body’s absorption of calcium. In this bottle there is said to be no impurities, as found in other supplements. It does not say if this product is free of allergens such as wheat, soy, or gluten.* You are getting the same effect of the suns natural rays, by taking this supplement without the harmful UVB rays. To purchase this product on Amazon.com click here.
#3Vita Optimum Vitamin D3 Supplement: This premium supply of Vitamin D3 soft gels are made in an FDA approved facility in the USA. In one bottle there are 360 gels, which contain 5,000 IU of
Vitamin D3, and costs $15.88 plus shipping on Amazon.com. This product does not contain soy, sugar, starch, sodium, milk or lactose, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, or artificial ingredients. The product is made with Organic olive oil that contains enough healthy fats for optimal absorption to the body. The soft gel itself if very small, and they market that this supplement is very easy to swallow with no hassle. The soft gel also contains the same biological form of Vitamin D3 that is produced by your body when you expose yourself to the sun, but you are not getting hit with the harmful UVB rays in the process.* To purchase this product off of Amazon.com click here.
#4NatureWise Vitamin D3 Supplement: This Vitamin D3 supplement comes with 360 soft gel tablets for $14.99 plus shipping, and contains 5,000 IU per serving. As like the others, their soft gel also contains the same biological form of Vitamin D3 that is produced by your body when you expose yourself to the sun, but you are not getting hit with the harmful UVB rays in the process. This product is made in the USA at a FDA approved facility, and does not contain gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, corn, egg, sugar, starch, peanuts, fish, shellfish, or hydrogenated oils.* This product also contains an organic olive oil to better help the Vitamin D3 absorption into the body. This product is said to better your bone health, teeth, as well as provide immune support and better muscle function. To purchase this product on Amazon.com click here.
#5 Gaia Sciences Vitamin D3 Supplement: This Vitamin D3 supplement is very popular amongst the Vitamin D3 supplements. It delivers the same biologically active form of Vitamin D that is produced in the body if
you were to sit in direct sunlight (without the risk of UVB exposure). Each bottle contains 360 soft gels of 5,000 IU potency, are easy to swallow, and one-bottle costs $17.00 plus shipping. The gels contain organic olive oil, which provides the healthy fat for better absorption. This product does not mention anything about it being free of allergens, but the ingredient list is as follows: extra virgin olive oil, bovine gelatin, glycerin, and water.* To purchase this supplement on Amazon.com click here.
- Busch, S. (n.d.). Difference Between Vitamin D & Vitamin D3. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/difference-between-vitamin-d-vitamin-d3-7149.html
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- Zeratsky, K. (n.d.). Nutrition and healthy eating. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108