The Ultimate Guide To Vitamin D3 Supplementation – A Detailed Review for Beginners
When it comes to Vitamin D, you may be surprised to learn a few things:
- It’s actually not a vitamin; it’s a steroid hormone
- More than 40% of people living in the United States are deficient in Vitamin D
- It’s 1 of 24 essential vitamins necessary for human survival
Vitamin D, as you’ll start to learn, is completely different from most of the vitamins we’re commonly familiar with.
For one, as mentioned above, it’s a steroid that can be produced naturally by our body’s when we expose our skin to ultraviolet light, or through dietary sources.
It’s for this reason that you often hear it referred to as the Sunshine Vitamin.
So, what’s so special about this?
For one, our body’s can’t naturally produce any other vitamins.
And second, ensuring that we receive enough vitamin D has nothing to do with the foods that we consume in our daily lives, unlike other vitamins.
Unfortunately, as mentioned in our second point above, getting enough sun exposure has fallen further and further down our list of daily priorities, as a nation.
It’s fair to say that many more people would make an effort to get out in the sun for an extra thirty minutes per day if they knew (and truly understood) how absolutely essential vitamin D is for optimal levels of general health.
It’s because of this and this alone, that vitamin D deficiencies are so rampant in the USA.
In this guide, our objective is to explain virtually everything you need to know about vitamin D, including:
- What is Vitamin D?
- Vitamin D Metabolization in the Body
- Vitamin D Benefits
- What does Vitamin D do for the body?
- Best Vitamin D3 Supplements
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D, along with vitamins, A, E, and K, are known as the fat-soluble vitamins.
And as with many vitamins, it has multiple forms:
- Vitamin D2: Known as ergocalciferol, it’s produced by plants and can be found in some mushrooms, but cannot be found in humans; and
- Vitamin D3: Known as cholecalciferol, which is found in sunlight, some types of fish, and egg yolks
If you’re curious which of these two – D2 or D3 – you should be more interested in, it’s D3, which is the primary focus of this guide.
The bottom line is simple:
Vitamin D is fat-soluble. It can be stored in our body for extended periods of time. And there are two primary forms, D2 and D3. Of those two forms, D3 is much more effective.
With regards to where you can get it, Vitamin D is most commonly found in 3 different forms:
- Non-Dietary: The sun’s ultraviolet rays
- Dietary: Found mostly in specific types of fish, like; sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna
- Supplements: Synthesized forms, like you’ll see on the shelves of nearly every grocery/convenient store
Vitamin D Metabolization in the Body
Believe it or not…
At first, vitamin D is relatively useless.
Until, at least, it goes through a few steps that help to activate it:
- Step 1: Vitamin D is converted into calcidiol (also known as: 25(OH)D). This happens in the liver and is known as the form that’s stored in the body.
- Step 2: Calcidiol is then converted into calcitriol (also known as: 1,25(OH)2D). This mostly occurs in the kidneys and becomes the “active”, steroid hormone form of Vitamin D that we’re most familiar with.
- Step 3: Calcitriol transports throughout the body, interacting with virtually every single cell’s vitamin D receptor (VDR).
Vitamin D Benefits – What’s All The Hype About?
For decades now, vitamin D has received its fair share of attention.
Not only from the mainstream crowd, but also from the health and fitness worlds.
With so much public research available, on virtually every known vitamin, mineral, and nutrient, people everywhere are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of vitamin D.
Here are some benefit associated with high levels of exposure to vitamin D:
- Fights off disease and sickness
- Combats depression
- Boosts weight loss
- Strengthens bones and fights osteoporosis
- Increases muscle function
- Reduces risk of cancer
- Increases testosterone in men
For a more detailed list of each of the above vitamin D benefits (and more), we’ve provided a list of our favorite scientific studies below:
- Vitamin D: The “Sunshine” Vitamin
- Vitamin D and the Immune System
- Sports Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D Deficiencies (And How To Avoid It)
By now, you should know a few things pertaining to the topic of vitamin d deficiencies:
- It affects more than 40% of Americans
- The largest is cause is due to lack of exposure to sunlight; and
- A number of sicknesses and symptoms results from vitamin d deficiency
With all that in mind, here’s a list of several tips, tactics, and techniques to help you avoid the all-too-common vitamin d deficiency:
Get Plenty of Sunlight
By now, you know sunlight is the most imperative element of vitamin d.
Make sure to schedule at least 30 minutes of outside exposure to the sun every day.
Ideally, before 11am in the morning.
Here’s what makes this step so easy…
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, so long as you’re doing it with exposure to the UV rays of the sun.
This can be in the form of a quick walk or jog, shooting some hoops with friends, or gardening in the backyard.
You’ll be amazed at the effects this will take on your skin, energy, and overall mood after only a few short days.
It’s important to state that during your time in the sun, you’ll want to refrain from applying sunscreen, as it will block the ability of your skin to absorb the sun’s UV rays.
Eat Plenty of Foods Containing Vitamin D
Believe it or not, a large number of foods that you’re already familiar with, already contain small amounts of vitamin D.
With a new understanding of which foods, specifically, contain the highest doses of vitamin D, you’ll be able to tailor your diet more towards those foods.
Below is a list of the top ten foods, with the highest amounts of the sunshine vitamin.
- Cod Liver Oil: 1 tablespoon contains ~1,400 IU (233% DV, or “Daily Value”)
- Portabello Mushrooms: 1 cup (diced) contains ~980 IU (163% DV)
- Trout (fish): 1 fillet contains ~540 IU (90% DV)
- Caviar (fish roe/eggs): 1 ounce contains ~136 IU (23% DV)
- Whole Grain Cereal: 3/4 cups contains ~100 IU (17% DV)
- Tofu (Firm/Lite): 1/5th package contains ~ 123 IU (21% DV)
- Queso Fresco Dairy Products: 1 cup contains ~ 132 IU (22% DV)
- Lean Ham/Pork: 1 ounce contains ~ 26 IU (4% DV)
- Hard Boiled Eggs: 1 cup (chopped) contains ~ 120 IU (20% DV)
- Plain Soy Yogurt: 1 container contains ~ 118 IU (20% DV)
Get your Vitamin D Levels Tested
Next time you have an appointment with your general physician, let him or her know that you’re interested in having a blood test done, for the purpose of obtaining a clear understanding of your current vitamin D levels.
For optimal health levels, you’re looking for your vitamin d to be in the following range:
50 to 80 ng/ml.
Use a Vitamin D Supplement
Here at Supplement Demand, we’re big fans of proper supplementation.
For a number of reasons, having a dietary supplement regimen centered around areas of your health that may be deficient, or otherwise lacking, is one of the easiest, most convenient, and most affordable options for regaining optimal levels of health.
You’ll want to consider researching the best Vitamin D3 supplements if you find yourself in any of the following scenarios:
- You’re deficient in Vitamin D and want to work back towards optimal levels
- You live in a region that receives minimal sun exposure throughout the year
- You work long hours during the day that requires you to get to the office before the sun comes up and get home once the sun has gone down
- You attend school or other scheduled appointments during the day
- You want to take a proactive approach to your health
- You enjoy the convenience of easy-to-swallow capsules with high grades of vitamins
As you can see, there are any number of reasons why Vitamin D supplementation would be right for just about any man, woman, or child, especially, if health if your primary objective.
Please note: It’s crucially important to follow the instructions provided on the supplement facts panel of any Vitamin D supplement that you choose, as exceeding the recommended dose does not imply a proportional increase in health benefits.
In the section below, we’re going to list the best Vitamin D3 supplements currently available on the market, so you know right where to look once you’re ready to start supplementing with Vitamin D.
Best Vitamin D3 Supplements – Top 3
When the times comes and you realize that you’re ready to purchase a Vitamin D supplement to add to your daily regimen, there are a few things to look for, to ensure that you’re getting the best “bang for your buck”.
So, when it comes to the best Vitamin D3 supplements, you’ll want to assess:
As with any dietary supplement, the reputation of the brand is of the utmost importance. The Vitamin D supplements that you’ll find on the list below all come from some of the most respected supplement brands in the market.
Vitamin D Dose
Vitamin D can be taken in a number of different doses, depending entirely on your reasons for adding it to your daily routine.
Whether you’re taking it to combat a mild to severe deficiency, or if you’re taking it simply as a means of maintaining optimal health levels, it’s important to understand how many IU’s of Vitamin D you’re consuming per serving.
Servings & Serving Size
This information is going to tell you how many servings are contained within the supplement, along with how many capsules are required to get a full servings worth of Vitamin D.
To that note, this element also helps you to analyze the cost per serving, as you’ll be able to divide the total price by the total number of serving, to arrive at the price per serving.
As consumers, the price per serving is one of the most educated means of evaluating the value of a supplement, assuming, of course, that its formula meets all of your other requirements.
#3: Vitamin D3 (1,000 IU, 300-Count) by Nature Made
As one of the top pharmacist-recommended brands for “letter” vitamin supplements, Nature Made is one of the best Vitamin D3 supplements for first-time users.
With the added benefits of teeth, bone, and immune system support, Nature Made’s Vitamin D3 supplement contains 300 liquid soft gels, for a total of 300 servings.
Each soft gel contains 1,000 IU (25 mcg) of Vitamin D3.
With over 220 4.5-star reviews from verified Amazon customers, this is one of the best “value” buys you’ll find for Vitamin D anywhere online.
Below, you’ll find a link to read some of the reviews for Nature Made Vitamin D3.
#2: Vitamin D3 Gold by Nutrigold
Nutrigold, similar to Nature Made, is another one of the most well-respected brands for single-ingredient vitamin supplements and contains a number of benefits:
- Contains 2,000 IU per “mini soft gel” of Vitamin D3
- Suspended in Organic Olive Oil
- Contains zero: hexane, Soy, Corn, or Gluten
- Verified as “Allergen-free”
- Contains zero allergens, harmful additives, or magnesium stearate
- 3rd-party lab tested for purity
- Certified “Kosher”
- Multiple sizes available – 90, 180, and 360 soft gels
If you’re serious about your Vitamin D3 supplementation, Nutrigold, is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the purest and highest rated supplement currently available in 2017.
With the added support of healthy bone development, prostate health, and cardiovascular and immune system health benefits, Nutrigold has one of the highest ratings for any Vitamin D supplement on all of Amazon.
Below, you’ll find a link to read the verified customer reviews for Nutrigold’s esteemed Vitamin D3 supplement.
#1: Vitamin D3 with organic Coconut Oil by Sports Research
Alas, the best Vitamin D3 supplement of 2017…
If you haven’t heard of Sport’s Research yet, we’re excited to introduce you to them, as they’re one of the few family-run sports nutrition companies in the industry.
Sports Research is one of the few companies that have proven themselves to be truly dedicated to providing the highest quality of health and wellness supplements designed to complement your lifestyle for optimal health.
As a unique added benefit, Sports Research allows their customers to view their 3rd-party lab tested assessments view the Certificate of Analysis associated with each batch of supplements.
Their Vitamin D3 supplement, in particular, works by delivering the same form of Vitamin D3 that’s biologically active in our body’s, as a result of direct exposure to sunlight.
The unique aspect of Sports Research’s Vitamin D3 supplement is the added benefit of the included organic coconut oil.
With 360 servings of 1 liquid soft gel, at a dose of 5,000 IU, Sports Research has taken the single ingredient vitamin supplement standard to an entirely new level.
Sports Research Vitamin D3 is recommended for men, women, and young athletes who are looking to optimize their overall health.
Below, we’ve provided a link to review close to 2,000 near 5-star reviews from verified Amazon customers.
Take a look at these guys — you’ll be glad you did.
Best Vitamin D3 Supplement Roundup
If you’ve made it this far, you should be well aware of a few things:
- You’re serious about your education when it come to the supplements required to optimize your overall health and daily performance
- You’re serious about your results and are willing to invest in the time and understanding of what makes the best Vitamin D3 supplements the best
At this point in our Vitamin D3 Guide, you should have had a couple of “Ah-Ha!” moments, which include learning about how large of an epidemic the total capacity for Vitamin D deficiency is, the best ways to avoid this deficiency, as well as the best Vitamin D3 Supplements to help optimize your health.
We hope you found as much value in this guide as we did and would love to hear about your results with Vitamin D supplementation in the comments below!