Best Vitamin D Supplements – Top 10 Brands Ranked for 2018

Odds are that if you have a pulse, then you’ve no doubt heard about the wonderful benefits of vitamins.

One vitamin in particular, provides a hefty dose of said benefits and that is what we will be going over in this guide.

That would be vitamin D.

This is our official list of the best selling vitamin D supplements on the market right now.

These 10 vitamin D brands have been ranked because they dominate the e-commerce sales charts, fitness bloggers love them and they have the highest user reviews online.

Top 10 Vitamin D Products Compared

Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, so if you buy something, we get a cut of the sale.


1. Carlson Labs Vitamin D3

Carlson Labs Vitamin D3

Carlson Labs Vitamin D3 is our pick of the best vitamin D supplement on the market! It is a vitamin D pill that uses the most effective form of supplemental vitamin D available, and provides a healthy vitamin D dosage. There are two forms of vitamin D that are relevant to human health: vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is the form that your body manufactures itself, and vitamin D3 is primarily found in foods.

Experts contend that vitamin D3 is a superior form for supplementing, because your body is familiar with digesting and absorbing this form through the intestines. Vitamin D2 is naturally produced endogenously (in your skin) and immediately used by the body, so taking it orally is not its natural pathway. This is an affordable vitamin D supplement that has no gluten, milk or preservatives.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Vitamin D3
  • No milk, gluten or preservatives

What’s in it:

  • 5000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: Carlson Nutritional Supplements has been around since 1965 producing quality, pure and award winning vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements. They started their brand with a vitamin E supplement that grew into a line of all-natural vitamin E products. They also specialize in sustainably sourced, great tasting omega-3 oils such as fish oil and other marine oils.

Bottom line: It provides you with an effective form of vitamin D, without extra fillers or preservatives. Utilizing the best vitamin D form, it provides you with superior absorption.

It is a good vitamin D dosage for an affordable price, making it an excellent value. If you are looking for a pure and effective vitamin D supplement, this is one of the best choices you could make!

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2. NOW Foods Vitamin D3

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NOW Foods Vitamin D3 is a high potency vitamin D pill that is high quality and pure – it does not contain any sugar, salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives! It offers a large quantity for a great price as well. It is also manufactured by a very reliable and well known brand that has been providing consumers with affordable natural supplements since 1968. Overall, it definitely makes our list of the top vitamin D supplements!

Highlights:

  • Natural
  • Affordable
  • Vitamin D3
  • Does not include many allergens
  • Free of preservatives

What’s in it:

  • 5000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: NOW Foods is a natural supplement brand that has been around since 1968, providing value in products that help people lead healthier lives. Their major manufacturing and distributing facility is GMP certified, and built to adhere to LEED specifications for environmental sustainability. The company has participated in many sustainability projects as well, working to keep both the earth and their customers healthy.

Bottom line: This is a strong vitamin D supplement that offers a potent vitamin D dosage. It is entirely natural and free from preservatives and many allergens. It is also manufactured by a reliable and responsible company. At its affordable price, it is a superb vitamin D supplement. If you are looking for a vitamin D supplement at a higher dosage for an affordable price, this may be the product for you.

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3. Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3

nordic-naturals-vitamin-d3

Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 is a vitamin D pill encapsulated in a softgel along with olive oil, a healthy source of fat, that helps to improve vitamin D absorption.

Highlights:

  • Vitamin D3
  • Small softgel
  • Includes olive oil
  • Superior absorption

What’s in it:

  • 1000 IU vitamin D3
  • 249 mg olive oil
  • 142 mg oleic acid (Omega 9)

Who makes it: Nordic Naturals is a nutritional supplement company that was predicated off of fish oil. The founder was born in Norway, where fish oil was a part of daily diet. He then moved to California, where he could not find a quality fish oil product. He then decided to make one, founding the company in 1995. Today the company is a leading fish oil supplier and offers a variety of other health products.

Bottom line: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 is an effective vitamin D supplement that offers superior absorption due to its olive oil content. The vitamin D pill is a small, easy to swallow softgel that provides a plethora of health benefits.

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4. Doctor’s Best Vitamin D3

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Doctor’s Best Vitamin D3 is a potent and powerful vitamin D3 supplement that is highly affordable. It is non-GMO, gluten and soy free, and uses one of the best forms of supplementary vitamin D! It is also available in large quantities for consistent customers.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Vitamin D3
  • Offers large quantities

Drawbacks:

  • Cheap packaging

What’s in it:

  • 5000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: Dr’s Best is a nutritional supplement brand that was founded by a physician in 1990. They offer over 200 different products made with thoroughly researched, branded ingredients. They are committed to transparency and their products never contain hidden ingredients. They are all manufactured in GMP certified facilities as well.

Bottom line: If you are looking for an affordable, strong vitamin D supplement, you might not need to look any further. This is a potent vitamin D dosage in a soft gel that is easy to swallow made by a reliable company. However, there have been complaints about the packaging being too cheap and flimsy.

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5. Nutrigold Vitamin D3 Gold 2000 IU

Nutrigold Vitamin D3 Gold 2000 IU

Nutrigold Vitamin D3 2000 IU is a mini softgel vitamin d pill that is formulated with olive oil. The olive oil aims to improve the absorption of vitamin D. This supplement has been verified to be free from corn, peanut, egg, milk, gluten, shellfish, and soy allergens by an independent lab. It is also non-GMO and does not contain any magnesium stearate, which is a synthetic fat. Overall, it is a good vitamin D supplement at an affordable price.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Vitamin D3
  • Small pills
  • Non-GMO, free from many allergens

Drawbacks:

  • Some consumers complain it’s ineffective

What’s in it:

  • 2000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: Nutrigold is a nutritional supplement company that specializes in supplements from natural, whole food sources. They do not use synthetic ingredients. The company itself is committed to providing high quality and affordable products that are pure, and entirely transparent.

Bottom line: This is a good vitamin D supplement for an affordable price. It offers a flexible vitamin D dosage as well, so you can take one or two, depending on your needs. However, some consumers have complained that it is less effective than comparable products from other brands.

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6. Nature Made Vitamin D3

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Nature Made Vitamin D3 is a liquid softgel vitamin D supplement. Touted as the 1 pharmacist recommended letter vitamin brand, Nature Made promises quality and efficacy. The product is free of gluten, yeast, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. It has also been tested and verified by the United States Pharmacopeia. All of these factors make it a good vitamin D supplement!

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Vitamin D3

Drawbacks:

  • Uses soybean oil instead of olive oil
  • Not free from many allergens

What’s in it:

  • 2000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: Nature Made is a nutritional supplement brand that is committed to providing health products backed by science and nature. They participate in clinical trials and support public studies to continue learning more about how supplements can improve health. They primarily focus on vitamins.

Bottom line: This is an effective vitamin D supplement that is made by a reliable brand, so you can expect consistent quality control. It offers a good vitamin D dosage in a softgel for a decent price. However, the liquid softgel uses soybean oil, which is not as beneficial as olive oil. It also contains some allergens.

7. Solgar Vitamin D3

solgar-vitamin-d3

Solgar Vitamin D3 is another top vitamin D supplement that utilizes vitamin D3, but in a very high dosage. This powerful vitamin D supplement has 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per serving! The vitamin D pill is a liquid softgel that includes a source of fat to improve vitamin D absorption, and it is free from gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, sodium, artificial flavor, sweetener, preservatives and color.

Highlights:

  • Powerful vitamin D dosage
  • Uses vitamin D3
  • Free from gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, and sodium
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or colors

Drawbacks:

  • Uses sunflower oil rather than olive oil
  • Very high dosage
  • Pricier than alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 10,000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: Solgar is a dinosaur among the nutritional supplement brands. Founded in 1947, it has had plenty of time to perfect its products and develop its brand. They have many award winning formulas that follow their rigorous Gold Standard for quality. Their products are manufactured by their own facility located here in the United States, and their products are distributed worldwide.

Bottom line: Solgar Vitamin D3 is one of the best vitamin D supplements for those looking for a powerful dosage. It is a very strong vitamin D supplement, and the dosage sits right at the upper intake level for vitamin D supplements. Be aware that this means it should be taken with caution. It also uses sunflower oil rather than olive oil as an absorption aid, which is a potential drawback, and its high dosage makes it pricier than many alternatives.

8. Do Vitamins Daily D

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DO Vitamins Daily D is a good vitamin D supplement for vegans and vegetarians because they do not include gelatin or animal products in this supplement, while many alternatives do. The vitamin D itself is also plant-derived from lichen extract whereas the majority of vitamin D supplements are derived from sheep’s wool (lanolin) or fish oil. It is also free from gluten and soy, uses no artificial ingredients, is non-GMO and has been 3rd party tested. It comes in a year’s supply worth of daily drops.

Highlights:

  • Vegan vitamin D3
  • Year’s supply
  • Drops rather than pill
  • Free of artificial ingredients, GMOs, gluten and soy

Drawbacks:

  • Lack of clinical studies on vegan D3
  • Expensive

What’s in it:

  • 2500 mg vitamin D3

Who makes it: Do Vitamins has labeled themselves a “boutique supplement brand” specializing in sports nutrition and vitamin formulas that are pure and clean. Their products are all third party tested and certified to prove claims. They are a newer, smaller company that is also easier to reach than many bigger brands.

Bottom line: This product is a vegan vitamin D3 supplement that could be the best vitamin D supplement for vegans and vegetarians. It uses vitamin D3 supposedly derived from lichen, a plant source, whereas all other vitamin D3 comes from animal sources. However, there has not been many clinical studies done on this newer form of D3, and it is pricier than alternatives.

9. Nature’s Way Vitamin D3

natures-way-vitamin-d3

Nature’s Way Vitamin D3 is a vitamin D pill that comes in the form of a liquid softgel. It is manufactured by a reliable company and helps obtain vitamin D benefits.

This product is free of gluten, sugar, yeast, wheat, soy, dairy products, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. If you are looking for a simple and affordable vitamin D supplement that has a good vitamin D dosage, but isn’t too powerful, this supplement may fit the bill.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Vitamin D3
  • Free of gluten, sugar, yeast, wheat, soy and dairy products
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Drawbacks:

  • Uses safflower oil instead of olive oil
  • Some consumers say it is less effective

What’s in it:

  • 2000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: Nature’s Way is a is a natural supplement brand that was the first to be Tru-ID certified, which is a certification that comes from an independent testing facility that ensures authenticity. For 40 years the company has been providing consumers with quality, natural dietary supplements.

Bottom line: This is a simple and affordable vitamin D pill that provides you with all of the vitamin D benefits. It is a good vitamin D dosage aswell, because it is not too potent or too weak. However, they use safflower oil in the capsule rather than olive oil. Consumers have also testified that the product is less effective than some other brands.

10. GNC Vitamin D3

gnc-vitamin-d3

GNC Vitamin D3 is a vitamin D tablet that is affordable and provides you with the health benefits of the nutrient.

It is free from gluten, wheat, sodium, yeast, dairy and sugar. GNC Vitamin D3 is also free from artificial colors and flavors.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Uses vitamin D3
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • No gluten, wheat, sodium, yeast, dairy or sugar

Drawbacks:

  • Solid tablet instead of liquid
  • Consumers say it is less effective
  • Includes synthetic fillers

What’s in it:

  • 2000 IU vitamin D3

Who makes it: GNC is a very well known supplement brand that has been around since 1935, making it one of the older supplement brands out there. They are headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they are even available on the stock market. They are one of the leading health and wellness specialty retailers in the world.

Bottom line: This is a good vitamin D supplement produced by a well known company with a good reputation. However, it comes in a tablet instead of a liquid softgel or liquid drops. Some consumers also claim it is less effective than some other brands, and it does include synthetic fillers. Despite the drawbacks, it is inexpensive and relatively effective, so it still makes our list.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D, often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin,” is well known to be an important nutrient for your health. It is made by the body when sunlight hits the skin, activating its production. This necessary vitamin can also be acquired through certain vitamin D foods, but dietary sources are slim.

The majority of vitamin D foods are fortified with vitamin D, and do not otherwise contain the nutrient. The difficulties in obtaining it contributes to the widespread vitamin D deficiency epidemic that is largely ignored!

Those at the highest risk of deficiency include those who have darker skin, less sun exposure, are older in age and those who use sunscreen. Taking a powerful vitamin D supplement may be necessary for many people, and this guide will tell you about the best vitamin D supplements on the market.

As an essential nutrient to your health, Vitamin D can be made by the body and consumed through dietary sources. Some vitamin D foods include cold water fish, eggs, mushrooms and fortified foods like milk. However, these sources do not provide much. Vitamin D supplements are most often in softgel capsules, tablets, and liquid forms. Some multivitamins are fortified with vitamin D as well. Vitamin D supplements can be taken to aid against vitamin D deficiency, and help you avoid symptoms associated with deficiency.

What are Vitamin D Supplements?

Vitamin D, an essential nutrient to your health, can be made by the body and consumed through dietary sources. Some vitamin D foods include cold water fish, eggs, mushrooms and fortified foods like milk. However, these sources do not provide much.

Vitamin D supplements are most often in softgel capsules, tablets, and liquid forms. Some multivitamins are fortified with vitamin D as well. Vitamin D supplements can be taken to prevent vitamin D deficiency, and treat symptoms associated with deficiency. There are many benefits to taking vitamin D supplements, which we will go over below.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that affects a huge number of functions in the body. It’s a very important nutrient to have, and a vitamin D deficiency (which is quite common) can cause a host of problems. There are a ton of vitamin D benefits, the most noteworthy of which include:

  • Deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency is very common, and can cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive impairment, weak bones, and more. Supplementing with vitamin D can help prevent deficiency, even if you do not live in a sunny climate or have other risk-factors for a deficiency. A lot of the vitamin D benefits are really just preventions for the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
  • Bones: Vitamin D is required in order for your body to absorb calcium. Thus, getting more vitamin D helps your body to properly absorb calcium, which in turn helps to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and related issues.
  • Immunity: Vitamin D can help to strengthen the immune system and help reduce the risk of infection. Conversely, a deficiency in vitamin D can increase the risk of autoimmunity and susceptibility to infection.
  • Blood Pressure: Vitamin D plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure. It is thought that low levels of vitamin D in the body can increase the risk of high blood pressure – although, more research is needed.
  • Diabetes: There is a relationship between vitamin D levels in the body and insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Thus, ensuring sufficient vitamin D intake may help to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Cancer: Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating cell growth and enabling cell-to-cell communication. One study found that vitamin D can potentially reduce the progression of cancer cells by slowing their growth. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.
  • Pregnancy: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of preeclampsia, leading many experts to recommend that pregnant mothers take vitamin D regularly. One side effect worth noting is that high levels of vitamin D during pregnancy were linked to a higher-than-average development of food allergies in children for the first 2 years of life.

Harvard University estimates that vitamin D deficiency is a global concern, affecting at least 1 billion people. Vitamin D deficiency can cause symptoms such as bone pain, difficulty thinking clearly, muscle weakness, unexplained fatigue and more.

Overall, there are many reasons to take vitamin D, particularly because so many people are deficient in the key nutrient. Unless you spend a lot of time outdoors without sunscreen on, or eat a very healthy diet with lots of fish, mushrooms and dairy, it’s likely that you are at least somewhat deficient in vitamin D.

Who Can Benefit from Vitamin D?

  • Those at Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency – Some people have a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency due to various factors pertaining to lifestyle, geographic location, skin tone, age and bodyweight. People who spend less time outdoors, for instance, have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun exposure. Using sunscreen and living in a colder climate can have the same effects. Having darker skin increases your risk of deficiency, because the pigment in darker skin blocks more UV rays from being absorbed. As you age, you lose vitamin D levels because your body gets less efficient at producing it. Those who are overweight have lower levels of vitamin D as well. If you fit into any or multiple of these categories, you should consider taking one of the best vitamin D supplements.
  • Those at Risk for Osteoporosis – Vitamin D helps to improve your digestive system’s ability to digest and absorb the mineral calcium, which is extremely important to bone strength and density. This makes vitamin D a good supplement for helping to fight against the development of osteoporosis; a bone condition that occurs when the body does not make enough bone, loses too much bone, or both. Those at risk of osteoporosis include women, smokers, heavy alcohol drinkers, and those older than 30 years old. If people in your family have had osteoporosis, that also raises your risk.
  • Those With High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is a cardiovascular condition that does not generally cause symptoms, but it increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. It refers to an elevated amount of pressure that your blood circulation is putting on your artery walls. There are certain factors, including age, race, weight, gender, lifestyle habits and family history that can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. However, anyone can develop this condition. A Boston University study found that high blood pressure can be improved by increasing vitamin D levels in the body.
  • Athletes – Vitamin D may play an important functional role in muscle tissues. Athletic coaches throughout the 20th century felt that exposing athletes to more sunlight enhanced their performance, which studies have discovered may have been due to enhanced vitamin D levels. Muscles contain a receptor for vitamin D that was discovered in 1985, called a VDR, which has been shown to play a role in muscle growth and function. This means that taking a high rated vitamin D supplement may help to improve muscle growth and function, enhancing athletic performance. At the very least, it can help you avoid a deficiency which helps your body stay in peak condition for training.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Vitamin D is considered a very safe supplement, and it is well tolerated by most people. However, some people may experience side effects such as sleepiness, weakness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, etc. Taking a high vitamin D dosage for a long period of time may cause increased levels of calcium in the blood stream, or vitamin D toxicity.

How to Take Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D is a fat soluble supplement, so it is best taken with a source of fat. It makes no difference if you take it in the morning, midday or afternoon. However, there are some supplements and over the counter medications that may interfere with vitamin D absorption, such as antacids and mineral oils. If you are on prescription medication, talk to your doctor before taking a good vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin D Supplement Stacks

Stacking refers to the idea of combining supplements that have beneficial effects when taken together. There are some supplements that have synergistic benefits when stacked with the top vitamin D supplements. Here are some supplement that make the best vitamin D stacks:

  • Magnesium – Magnesium is an important mineral that can be found in abundance in the human body. Most magnesium in the body is located in your bones. It is important to bone strength and development, and it also plays a role in nerve impulse conduction and muscle contraction. Vitamin D and magnesium are interdependent nutrients. Magnesium plays a role in vitamin D metabolism, and vitamin D plays a role in magnesium levels in the body. Taking these nutrients together prevents magnesium deficiency and improves vitamin D benefits. This makes the combination a great vitamin D stack!
  • Calcium – For bone health, taking calcium alongside vitamin D makes a good vitamin D stack. Taking a good calcium supplement can improve vitamin D absorption. If you do not consume enough calcium and you are vitamin D deficient, lack of calcium intake will aggravate the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. It is also a good vitamin D stack for the elderly. Calcium and vitamin D together can reduce the risk of falls in elderly women by 49% in comparison to taking just calcium alone. This is because these nutrients improve muscle control, strength and bone density.
  • Fish Oil – Fish oil contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids that have cardiovascular health benefits and bone health benefits. The best fish oil supplements can help to reduce levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream and lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Altogether, the benefits of fish oil compliment the benefits of vitamin D, and it also provides a source of fat to improve vitamin D absorption. This is a good vitamin D stack for improving many vitamin D benefits.
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Austin Meadows

Written by Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and research based information to his readers. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.