Best Vitamin D Supplements to Take This Winter

Vitamin D – also known as “the sunshine vitamin” – is essential for many functions in the body. However, with winter coming and food source limitations, getting vitamin D isn’t always as easy as walking out in the sun.


Why is vitamin D important?


Vitamin D helps to keep your immune system strong and can lower your chances of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. Research has also shown that vitamin D may have an impact on helping to prevent migraine headaches and depression too. It’s used by your body to help absorb calcium and improve bone health.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a loss of bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones).


Because of laboratory and clinical studies showing that vitamin D does regulate genes involved in immunity, a Harvard Medical School team decided to look into whether vitamin D 2000 IUs daily could prevent autoimmune disorders and other chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“We found that vitamin D significantly reduced the risk for a composite of autoimmune disorders — a 22% significant reduction.[…] Then accounting for latency, among those who were in the trial for at least 2 years, the reduction was closer to 40%.”, said Dr JoAnn Manson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, according to Medscape.



Watch: Mayo Clinic Minute: How much vitamin D do you need?




What percentage of the world is vitamin D deficient?


Vitamin D deficiency is a common global issue. About 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency, while 50% of the population has vitamin D insufficiency. Approximately 35% of adults in the United States are vitamin D deficient. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that about 1 in 6 adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D in their blood.


Sources of vitamin D


You can get vitamin D from the sun, food and supplements. When possible, try to get your vitamin D through sunlight exposure since it’s the least processed form.
Vitamin D is found in a variety of foods like fish and eggs, but most Americans get their daily intake through sun exposure.
Foods high in vitamin D are: cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, foods fortified with vitamin D, dairy and plant milks fortified with vitamin D, fortified cereals,  liver, egg yolk, according to Harvard School of Public Health.
Two of the best sources of dietary vitamin D for vegans are cereals and plant-based milks fortified with vitamin D.
When we cannot get enough vitamin D from sunlight or food, supplements are used to combat such deficiencies. We need vitamin D supplements in the cold season, when the sun is scarce – typically during October – April every year.


How much vitamin D do we need daily?


Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the right level of vitamin D for humans. As a result, it can be difficult to determine how much you need to take as a supplement.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) for children up to age 12 months, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for people over 70 years.  However, 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D from a supplement is considered safe for most healthy individuals.
However, long-term supplementation with vitamin D3 in doses ranging up to 5000 IUs/day (even more) appears to be safe.
Concerned your levels of vitamin D are too low? The best way to know for sure is by asking your doctor, who may do blood work to assess your vitamin D levels.


What is the best way to get vitamin D from supplements?


Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin—meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water—your body can most easily absorb it when you take it with food. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin – which means if you take a supplement, you’ll need to take it with a healthy fat, such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil or other vegetable fat.



What is the best type of vitamin D to take?


Vitamin D3 is the form that is already stored in the body, so some studies have found it to be more effective.


How to choose the best supplements with vitamin D


Meghan Sedivy, RD, of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in the Chicago area, recommends:



Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW D3


This supplement with 2,000 IU of raw vitamin D is derived from an ultra-natural whole food lipid base. The formula contains the most biologically active form of Vitamin D combined with live probiotics and enzymes to promote absorption.


Garden of Life Vitamin D
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw D3


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Solaray Super Bio Vitamin D3 in Coconut Oil


Solaray Siper Bio Vitamin D3 supplies 5000 UI of vitamin D in coconut oil, for an enhanced absorbtion. Backed in science, rooted in nature, Solaray is a brand you can trust.
Solaray Super Bio Vitamin D-3 in Coconut Oil


Visit the Solaray Store


Nature’s Way Vitamin D3


For more than 50 years, Nature’s Way has helped people live healthier lives. With 2000 UI per serving, Nature’s Way Vitamin D3 supports the immune function and increases calcium absorption for strong bones and teeth.


Nature's Way Vitamin D3 Extra Strength
Nature’s Way Vitamin D3 Extra Strength


Visit the Nature’s Way Store



Other supplements from brands you can trust



Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Liquid


The vegan vitamin D3 liquid is a plant-based formula made from sustainably harvested lichen.It is a convenient and great-tasting liquid formula for easy dispensing.
Pure Encapsulation takes high standards seriously, which is why they are the #1 most recommended professional supplement brand, according to Nutrition Business Journal 2016, 2020, Kaiser Associates 2014.


Pure Encapsulations - Vitamin D3 (Vegan) Liquid
Pure Encapsulations – Vitamin D3 (Vegan) Liquid


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Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 IU


Life Extension Vitamin D3 Supplement with 5000 IU per softgel is 5 times stronger than the typical 1000 U.I. pills. It comes from a trusted source: made in the USA, with a tradition of over 40 years.


Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 IU, 120 Softgels
Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 IU, 120 Softgels


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HUM Here Comes The Sun


Glow from Within with the HUM Here Comes The Sun D3 2000 IU softgels. This high-potency formula of vitamin D3 is critical for calcium absorption for strong teeth and bones.Enjoy sunshine in a bottle to boost mood and immunity, without UV exposure. The vegan, lichen-derived vitamin D3 also helps boost the mood, immune system and skin health.


HUM Here Comes The Sun


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Truvani Vitamin Vegan D3


Truvani Vitamin D3 is extracted from a plant species called lichen, making it 100% vegan. D3 plays a huge supporting role in the absorption of calcium and other minerals important for the immune system and bone strength. It has a high absorbtion and is certified USDA organic.


Truvani Vitamin D3
Truvani Vitamin D3


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Nature Made Vitamin D3 Softgels


These Vitamin D 2000IU softgels help improve calcium absorption and contain 50mcg of Vitamin D 3, the body’s preferred form of Vitamin D. Nature Made Vitamin D3 Softgels is number 1 Pharmacist Recommended Vitamin & Supplement Brand (based on a survey of pharmacists who recommend branded vitamins and supplements).


Nature Made Vitamin D3 Softgels
Nature Made Vitamin D3 Softgels


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Sports Research Vegan Vitamin D3 + K2 Supplement with Organic Coconut Oil


This plant-based D3 +K2 2-in-1 formula is made with VegaDELight vegan D3, a patented plant based form of Vitamin D3 from lichen and MenaQ7, a patented form of Vitamin K2 from chickpeas. Vitamins D & K work better when taken together. Sports Research easy-to-swallow vitamin D3 K2 PlantGel capsules are an easy way to add these two essential micronutrient vitamins to your diet.


Sports Research Vegan Vitamin D3 + K2 Supplement with Organic Coconut Oil
Sports Research Vegan Vitamin D3 + K2 Supplement with Organic Coconut Oil


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