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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in several critical bodily processes, including calcium and phosphorus absorption, bone health, and muscle growth and development (1).

Yet, a recent survey found that 40% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, especially African Americans, people who smoke, those who get little sun exposure or regularly use sunscreen, adults over age 65, and those with obesity or diabetes (2, 3).

As such, many people may wish to supplement with it.

While picking the right product can be difficult, excellent supplements are available for almost every need. This article evaluates vitamin D supplements using the following criteria:

  • strict standards for quality and purity from the manufacturer
  • nutrient bioavailability
  • free of unnecessary ingredients like fillers, artificial sweeteners, or colors
  • trusted by healthcare professionals like doctors and dietitians

Here are 10 of the best vitamin D supplements.

Care/of

  • Dosage: 1,000 IU per capsule
  • Price: $$

Care of is a subscription-based vitamin company that offers a variety of supplements to consumers looking for a convenient way to fill their nutrient gaps.

Care/of delivers personalized supplements on a monthly basis right to your door.

You take an online quiz that asks questions about your diet and lifestyle, and based on the results, Care/of suggests specific nutrients that may benefit your health.

Care/of offers two vitamin D products — The Sunny D3 and The Vegan Sunny D3.

Both products contain 1,000 IU per capsule. The vegan supplement contains vitamin D3 sourced from algae, meaning it’s safe for those following a vegan diet.

Persona

  • Dosage: Options vary
  • Price: Options vary

Persona Nutrition is another subscription-based company that offers personalized supplements to consumers based on an assessment quiz that asks questions about their diet and lifestyle.

Persona Nutrition customers get personalized vitamin packs delivered to their door on a monthly basis.

Persona Nutrition offers three vitamin D-based supplements:

  • Vitamin D. This supplement contains 1,000 IU of vitamin D3, making it a good choice for those who want to maintain optimal vitamin D levels.
  • Vitamin D Vegan. This supplement contains a vegan-friendly form of D3 called Vitashine®, which is derived from lichens.
  • DHA with Vitamin D. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fat that plays many critical roles in the body. This supplement contains 225 mg of DHA, 42 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 to support your health.

Designs for Health Liposomal D Supreme

  • Dose: 1 pump delivers 2,500 IU of vitamin D and 325 mg of total vitamin K
  • Price: $$$

Designs for Health’s Liposomal Vitamin D Supreme combines vitamin D with vitamins K1 and K2.

Liposomes are tiny spheres of fat used as carriers for vitamin D and other fat-soluble nutrients in certain supplements. Interestingly, liposomal forms of this vitamin have been shown to be better absorbed than tablet forms of vitamin D supplements (4).

Vitamins K and D work synergistically in your body, meaning that they enhance each other’s effects. Some research indicates that taking both may better promote bone and heart health than taking vitamin D alone (5).

Pure Encapsulations D3 10,000 IU

  • Dosage: 1 capsule contains 10,000 IU of vitamin D3
  • Price: $$

For people with a severe vitamin D deficiency, taking a high-dose supplement is necessary. You may need to consult a healthcare professional for a specific prescription based on your needs (3).

Supplementing with at least 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily is recommended for people who have been diagnosed with a deficiency. This may be followed by a maintenance dose of up to 6,000 IU once levels normalize (3).

Pure Encapsulations is a trusted brand that’s hypoallergenic and gluten-free. It’s certified by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), which sets strict, product-specific standards for supplements (5).

NOW Foods D3 10,000 IU

  • Dosage: 1 capsule contains 10,000 IU of vitamin D3
  • Price: $$

NOW Foods is another excellent supplement brand that makes high-dose vitamin D supplements.

Although this product is appropriate for some people, it’s important to check with a healthcare professional before taking high-dose vitamin D supplements.

Carlson Labs Kid’s Super Daily D3 + K2

  • Dosage: 1 drop contains 1,000 IU of D3 and 22.5 mcg of K2
  • Price: $

Vitamin D is necessary for children as well as adults (6).

Plus, some children may be at risk of a deficiency, particularly those who take epilepsy medication or have absorption issues (7, 8).

Still, some children’s vitamin supplements contain added sugar to increase palatability. Carlson Labs’ Kid’s Super Daily D3 + K2 only contains D3, vitamin K2, and medium-chain triglycerides as the carrier oil, making it a healthier choice for your child.

NOW Foods Chewable Vitamin D3 5,000 IU

  • Dosage: 1 chewable tablet contains 5,000 IU of D3
  • Price: $$

Some people prefer chewable vitamins over capsules, liquids, gummies, and pills. Yet, most chewables contain added sugar.

Unlike other chewable vitamin D supplements, NOW’s Chewable Vitamin D3 5,000 IU is sweetened with xylitol and sorbitol — two sugar alcohols — and natural vanilla and peppermint flavors, making it an excellent choice.

Note that sugar alcohols can cause digestive problems, such as stomach upset and diarrhea, especially when consumed in large amounts. Also, this supplement is held together with cellulose, making it less absorbable than oil-based capsules.

Nordic Naturals Zero Sugar Vitamin D3 Gummies 1,000 IU

  • Dosage: 1 gummy contains 1,000 IU of D3
  • Price: $$

Gummy vitamins are popular among adults and kids alike. Although fun to chew, most contain added sugar.

If you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, opt for Nordic Naturals’ sugar-free vitamin D3 gummy that’s sweetened with xylitol and colored with fruit and vegetable juice.

Again, sugar alcohols like xylitol may cause some people to experience digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Moreover, this tablet form is less absorbable than an oil-based capsule.

Full Circle Prenatal Multivitamin

  • Dosage: 1 serving delivers 4,000 IU of vitamin D
  • Price: $$$

Recent research has shown that pregnant and breastfeeding women need much more vitamin D than the current recommendation of 600 IU per day (9).

Experts suggest that to maintain blood levels of this nutrient, which may help protect against pregnancy-related complications, pregnant women should take at least 4,000 IU of D3 per day (10).

Breastfeeding women may need even more, with some studies indicating that a daily dose of 6,400 IU promotes optimal vitamin D levels in both breastfeeding mothers and breastfed infants (11).

Nonetheless, most prenatal supplements contain only 400–1,000 IU of this vitamin per dose.

Full Circle Prenatal is a prenatal vitamin created by registered dietitians (RDs) that delivers 4,000 IU of vitamin D per dose, along with other necessary nutrients for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Designs for Health Hi-Po (High Potency) Emulsi-D3

  • Dosage: 1 drop delivers 2,000 IU of D3
  • Price: $

Vitamin D drops are an excellent choice if you prefer not to swallow pills or take chewable supplements.

Designs for Health’s Hi-Po Emulsi-D3 is a super concentrated liquid vitamin D, so you only need a small amount to fulfill your daily requirements.

You can take these drops on their own or mix them into your favorite beverage. They contain no added sugars, colorings, or flavors.

Thorne Vitamin D/K2

  • Dosage: 2 drops delivers 1,000 IU of D3 and 200 mcg of K2
  • Price: $

Thorne is a trusted supplement brand certified by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), a regulatory agency run by the Australian Department of Health.

Thorne’s liquid vitamin D supplement also provides vitamin K2, which works synergistically with vitamin D and is necessary for heart and skeletal health (12).

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 (Vegan) Liquid

  • Dosage: 5 drops delivers 1,000 IU of D3
  • Price: $$

Many vitamin D3 supplements are derived from fish or sheep’s wool, making them inappropriate for vegans (13).

Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) is a form of vitamin D that’s vegan since it’s derived from yeast or mushrooms, but research shows that it isn’t as effective at raising your blood levels as D3 (14).

Nevertheless, some companies have recently pioneered a vegan-friendly D3.

Pure Encapsulations offers a liquid D3 product that’s derived from sustainably harvested lichen.

Before you decide on a vitamin D supplement, it’s a good idea to get your levels tested. A blood test is the only way to know whether your levels are deficient, insufficient, sufficient, or optimal.

Your healthcare professional can order bloodwork and help you determine an appropriate dosage.

Keep in mind that if you’re severely deficient in vitamin D, your healthcare provider may recommend high-dose supplements or injections for a certain period, followed by a daily maintenance dose.

When shopping for vitamin D supplements, it’s important to pay attention to their ingredients. Many products, especially liquids, gummies, and chewables, pack added sugars and artificial flavorings and colors.

Additionally, you should check for third-party certification from a group like U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) or ConsumerLab.

Keep in mind that both Persona and Care/of only offer vitamin D3 supplements that provide 1,000 IU per capsule.

Even though this dose may be appropriate for people who want to maintain already optimal vitamin D levels, those with low or deficient vitamin D levels typically require a much higher dose to increase their vitamin D blood level to an optimal level.

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays many critical roles in your body. As many people are deficient in this vitamin, supplements are sometimes needed to maintain optimal levels.

The products above are among the best vitamin D supplements on the market and suit a wide variety of needs.

Speak with a healthcare professional to determine whether — and how much — you need to supplement.