Which Type of Vitamin D Supplement is Best?

Friday Jan 18 | BY |
| Comments (96)

vitamin-d

It’s about time I get back to some of the questions you’ve sent in over the last few months…

I was on quite a run for a while — answering as many as I could — but now I’m a little backed up. So this means, I’ll be focusing on a bunch of them for the next few weeks.

Today, Carol had a question about vitamin D and absorption that you might want to know as well…

I am researching Vit D supplements. I have read that absorption rates in capsules are less predictable than absorption rates in sublinguals (sprays). Can you tell me your thoughts?? I would like a supplement that I can take and also give to my children (one has tested very low). Thank you! Carol

The Sun Just Doesn’t Seem to be Enough…

Great question, Carol!

For some reason or another, many people can’t get enough vitamin D from the sun. There are a lot of theories out there as to why, but the underlying issue is that you need vitamin D and need to find an appropriate way for your body to get it.

Simple enough, right?

So regardless of why many experts think vitamin D levels are low, the end result — you raising your number — is most important.

This is why many people need supplementation.

Vitamin D Supplementation IS Important.

I’d say vitamin D is in the top 5 supplements most people need — even without them getting blood tests to prove it.

I’m a perfect example.

Even when I got a lot of sun while traveling around in the RV, I’ve always needed supplementation. I know, because when I forget to take my D for a few months, then get my yearly tests, I see the results sinking.

What do low results mean?

A higher chance of sickness and illness, increased risk of cancer, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

So, again, most people would benefit from taking vitamin D supplements (and if you’re unsure, get a test and know for sure.)

Dr. Williams’ acceptable levels of vitamin D (in the U.S.) are:

Desirable: 39-70
Optimal: 55-80

(This is from the Blood Test Blueprint Program)

Digestion Can Hinder Absorption

So back to the question, what is the best way to absorb or assimilate vitamin D?

If you’re severely deficient, you can get an injection. This will help raise levels in the blood faster and give you a higher set point for your regular supplementation.

But most people won’t need injections.

For everyone else, you can take drops, capsules or sprays.

From my own research and experience, they all work to raise your levels, but if you want to get into the smaller details — yes — it’s possible that the absorption of vitamin D in capsules could be hindered during the digestive process.

But to that point, I want to know (1) how much so and (2) does that matter enough to change the end goal which is raising your levels.

I don’t know the answer to the first question, nor do I know the answer to the second.

But what I do know is this…

1. Vitamin D is cheap.

2. You can do your own experiment if you really want.

Vitamin D is Cheap

Vitamin D supplements are very inexpensive on the supplement pricing scale.

This is good news for anyone who is trying to figure out which way to supplement with it.

So even if sublinguals are absorbed 5-15% better, you wouldn’t find yourself going way over your vitamin D budget — maybe just a few dollars at most if you were using capsules.

It would be quite a different story if you were asking about a nutrient that cost over $30 or $40 a bottle. Then I’d, just like you, really want to drill down further.

And with that, you can drill down further. You can find out your own health statistical (kind of) truth by experimenting.

Test Your Levels Regularly and You’ll Know

A simple experiment would be run over a period of 1-2 years.

You could first get your blood tested to determine a vitamin D baseline. (25-Hyroxy Test)

Then take the sublingual vitamin D for 3-6 months and get tested again.

After you are tested, stop taking any vitamin D for 3-6 months, test again, then take the capsule vitamin D for the same amount of time.

Once that period is up, test again and compare the two before and after results that you had. If your numbers rose the same amount then you absorb both of them the same. If one rose 10 points and the other 20, then clearly you know which type of vitamin D works for you.

This, of course, may only be played out by crazy people like me, but if you really want to know, then this is a great way to find out.

Of course, there are plenty of variables that could skew the results here, but ultimately, my point is that I wouldn’t be too concerned about the type of supplementation when it comes to vitamin D, I would be more concerned if you can’t get your levels up with whatever kind you choose — and you’d only know this through testing.

So get tested, take your supplements — one or the other — and get tested again and see what turns up.

You might be surprised…

Your Question of the Day: Do you take vitamin D? What kind?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

96 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. John Tod says:

    Re: Vitamin D supplements:

    There are several different types of vitamin D. I take D3 which I was told is the best. Which would you recommend? D3 or a blend or add another D vitman (such as D2) to the mix?

    If you could respond via my email address as well that would be super!!!

    John Tod

    • Charlene Day says:

      Vitamin D2: Ergocalciferol or calciferol (made from
      ergosterol) Found in fungi Vitamin D3: Cholecalciferol (made from
      7-dehydrocholesterol) Made by humans from cholesterol and UVB
      sunlight D3 is more potent than D2

  2. Diane says:

    My D level was 89 in Aug ’12. I take 1-2 5,000 unit capsules of D3 (NOW brand) daily plus there is some in my multi (Mercola’s brand).

  3. Marilyn says:

    I also eat natto (fermented soybeans) for the vitamin K2 which is supposed to enable the vitamin D and calcium absorption. K2 also directs the calcium into the areas of the body it is supposed to go, and remove it from the areas it is not supposed to go–like one’s arteries.

    • Ira Edwards says:

      Great comment, and vital. Read my comment further down the list.

      • Ira Edwards says:

        Sorry, my comment was removed. I don’t know why. My point is the vitamins D2, A, and K2 are a team and they need to be used together. Mend one section of fence, and the cows get out somewhere else. Lack of K2 is likely the cause of more chronic disease than lack of vitamin D.

        • JT says:

          Excellent point Ira. Surprised that Kevin didn’t mention this. I like Isotonix Vitamin D w/K2 product. Have you ever seen that? It suppose to get to the cellular level in 5-7 minutes. It works really good.

          • Tee says:

            It does work really well, JT! Normally, when you ingest a
            daily vitamin or nutritional supplement tablet, your body works for
            up to four hours digesting and absorbing the vitamins and
            nutrients! Isotonix products are formulated to assure they are
            isotonic (meaning having the same fluid pressure as body fluids)
            when properly prepared. Because Isotonix products are powders,
            there are no fillers, binders, coatings or lubricants that are
            common in tablet manufacturing. As a result, the amount of time and
            work necessary to absorb is greatly decreased, leading to maximum
            results. Vitamin K is included in this particular Isotonix product
            because of its unique partnership with vitamin D. Vitamins K and D
            work together to promote healthy calcium absorption and
            utilization. Vitamin K supports the delivery of calcium to the
            bones and is said to maintain arterial health. One serving daily of
            Isotonix Vitamin D with K2 is recommended. I’ve read safety studies
            that have recommended up to 40,000 IU but of course, as always,
            check with your physician before taking additional daily servings
            of this product. You can read more about this product, including
            ingredients, FAQs and the science behind the product by copying and
            pasting this link into your browser, and scrolling to the middle of
            the page.
            http://www.shop.com/Isotonix+reg+Vitamin+D+with+K2-561800345-p+.xhtml?credituser=C6851431

  4. Karen S. says:

    I would like to know where to find Natto. I am in Atlanta, GA. Don’t really want the project of making it as I have so many ‘special needs’ when it come to food prep, already. :-/

  5. Phillip says:

    Great idea to get tested. Do you realize how expensive
    blood test work is today? Most people can’t afford to get blood
    work done unless they are really very sick and at he last resort.
    Health care is outrageous in this country in case you have
    forgotten. Even with supplementation do we really know what we are
    getting or how many man made products uses as fillers are in the
    supplements that we spend our hard earned money on each month only
    to get no benefit. Only organic cerified supplements are of any
    value and they may not be as good as claimed. Health and wellness
    in America is all about the almighty dollar.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    There is a type of synthetic vitamin D that they also use as Rat poison.
    http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1677&aid=2239
    I would surmise that natural forms of vitamin D, such as sunlight and cod liver oil would be safe, but that is all that I would try.

  7. Walt says:

    I thought D3 was the best D to take along with K2.

  8. Babs Harris says:

    Through the years of reading Health Newsletters & going to a Naturopath, Only Vitamin D3, in liquid form is the best. I am 79, have very little problems, no prescriptions, do take supplements to assist my aging body – want it to keep up with my mind!! I take more in winter than summer, but range is 2000 IU up to 5000 IU.

  9. Alex says:

    It would be wise to discuss contributing factors to Vit D
    status and proper supplementation such as vit A, K2, Calcium,
    etc

  10. Vera says:

    I take the Target brand – was buying a more expensive one
    online and found that the capsules worked better from
    Target.

  11. Karen Ingram says:

    I am a 62 yr old woman & take Cal D Forte 1.25mg
    (50,000iu) prescribed by my Dr for my bone health. I take one
    tablet per month. I’m not sure if this one is good or not but would
    love more info on whether water or oil soluble is best?

  12. Hi Kev

    I am trying out the Vita shine spray. it is vegan and it feels like there is some level of absorption as my joints dont hurt in the mornings.

    I will be trying to get a test done in the next few days to see how well my levels are.

  13. Kathleen says:

    Can you talk about D3 verses D2, and about the new mushroom D3? I currently am taking D2, but I’m running out, and would like to know what kind to get.

    • Ira Edward says:

      Vitmain D2 is the kind used in medical prescriptions, and
      the only reason it is used is because being synthetic, it can be
      patented. It is also added to commercial milk. It is definitely
      inferior.

    • Charlene Day says:

      Vitamin D2: Ergocalciferol or calciferol (made from
      ergosterol) Found in fungi Vitamin D3: Cholecalciferol (made from
      7-dehydrocholesterol) Made by humans from cholesterol and UVB
      sunlight D3 is more potent than D2

    • Heather says:

      D2 is vegan, D3 is from an animal source. Dr. Michael
      Holick is an authority on Vitamin D, check his Youtube videos and
      his books.

  14. Nick H says:

    I take D3 as well, in capsule form.

  15. Elisabeth says:

    currently i’m using healthy origins softgels 5000 iu’s of d 3. other ingredients are pure cold pressed olive oil, gelatin, glycerin and water.

  16. Usana sells high grade good quality vitamins including D.
    Also, if a mother is taking a good Vitamin D and is nursing the
    baby should get enough Vitamin D through the milk.

  17. I only use D3 Serum from Premier Research Labs
    (www.prlabs.com) It’s from well-sourced sheep’s lanolin in a pure,
    single-source extra virgin organic olive oil. Each drop of oil
    contains 2,000iu. Muscle-testing reveals nearly all of my clients,
    who are not already supplementing, require 20,000-30,000iu per day
    just to maintain healthy kidney function.

  18. Hi Kevin! It´s an important discussion. My levels of
    Vitamin D are pretty low and my doctor told me that I should take
    the Vitamin D3 with a meal with some fat – what will helps to
    absorb the vitamin D. At the beginning I was taking after the
    breakfast (no fats), and I was not able to absorb…

  19. Carmie says:

    I am a cancer patient, diagnosed early 2012. In August 2012
    my Vit D level was 33 (I had been taking 4,000 D3 for about 6
    months at the advice of a friend who worked in the health food
    store biz for 30 years, but I did not take it religiously every
    day). I started seeing a naturopathic oncologist in
    August/September 2012. She is the first person who ever tested my D
    levels. Levels below 30 can be predictive of cancer she believes.
    In the fall I increased D3 to 10,000 IU a day. Four months later
    tests show it is at 50. Still a little low. I’ve just increased to
    16,000 IU a day. Everyone is different. Well worth being tested, I
    think. And, yes, very inexpensive.

  20. Jim Purcell says:

    If doing a sequential experiment of this nature, I would try to control the variables as much as possible. In particular, sun exposure and season would need to be held as constant as possible. It would do no good to run phase 1 (sublingual) in the winter, and then run phase 2 (capsule) in the summer; any direct sun in the summer would skew the results.

    (Definitely D3 over D2!)

  21. Mariana says:

    I totaly agree that Sun is not enough especially in a
    climate where there is no full time summer. The Best Vitamin D
    supplement that I found on the market and everyone in my family is
    using (ever since my kids were babies) is also the strongest
    Anti-Flu remedy that we have – Isotonix Vitamin D – that way I made
    sure that nothing goes to waste and the body fully adsorb 100% of
    what I take within 10 minutes – Here is where I get mine from
    http://www.shop.com/bulgaria/Isotonix+reg+Vitamin+D+with+K2-561800345-p+.xhtml

  22. Linda Nilsen says:

    I take Green Pasture, Blue Ice Royal, butter oil/fermented
    cod liver oil blend. It is a gel. The flavor I take is cinnamon
    tingle. Ingredients:Fermented cod liver oil (from wild caught fish)
    ,high vitamin oil( from cows eating rapidly growing grass in the
    spring which is than centrifuged to get the natural VIT.K2 for good
    assimilation of the VIT D) ,cassia oil,organic stevia leaf, silica.
    Serving size 1/2 teaspoon or2.5g

  23. Jim says:

    Wow guys, although I do read some intelligent point of views and certainly many biased and misinformed opinions in your blogs, I must say that for you to make such statements and to actually try to convince others to such, is to say the least not “right”.
    I am of the belief that God is far superior to any vitamin supplementation company that from time to time comes out with new and improved versions of their “junk”, only to in a certain amount of time will only be proven to be just “incorrect” and truly junk.
    The Sun our “Father” was created to supply us with All the Vit. D and much, much more not to mention the Photons which are packed with Knowledge.
    Get out there in the Sun and the Mother Earth, connect with your food and their Energy and we need not of any and I mean Any supplement of any brand, period. That is the Truth, which is really hard to swallow for many as it will put them out of a job or business.
    Cheers to All

    • Kim says:

      Annoyed by your comments Jim. I’m a Christian and love the Lord dearly. However, we humans have mucked things up and we don’t live in a perfect world. I live in northern Canada where there is limited sunshine and there is snow on the ground 8 months of the year. Pollution levels in our community are high due to pulpmills. Our family does what we can to stay healthy, which means eating as healthy & organically as possible and we moved to an area of the city with better air quality. There are extremely high cancer rates & auto-immune disorders in this town. For many reasons, we aren’t able to pack up and move to another area. To say people can just eat healthy and ‘connect’ with our earth and food is very naive. Perhaps that is possible for you, and that is wonderful. That isn’t a reality for everyone. Supplements have made a huge difference in the life and health of my husband and I and our children. We are grateful for companies of integrity that provide safe & healthy ways to supplement what we are naturally lacking.

    • MaryJ says:

      Interesting, Jim – and I think ‘The Daily Raw Inspiration’ which is Jingee and Storm’s site promote getting your vitamins straight from the vegies that have been out in the sunshine, maybe they absorb vitamin D3 to pass on to hungry people.

    • Sharon says:

      Oh Jim, you must live in a sunny, warm climate year round
      to make such statement. We live on the 50th parallel N in the West
      Coast rainforest and no matter how much sunlight one gets between
      October and March, the body cannot synthesize Vitamin D during this
      period of the year. Further, going without Vitamin D
      supplementation can increase the risk of numerous diseases,
      including Multiple Sclerosis (especially prevalent in these
      Northern climes).

    • Giselle says:

      Well u r right about what u say., Yes Mother Nature., but some people work all day & have no time to go out in the sun., or some people live in cold climate.
      ‘Giselle

    • Lisa says:

      I certainly agree that the Sun is the best way. But as a Black person who lives and works in a fog zone, and whose occupation has me tied to a computer, I can’t rely on my time outside giving me enough. It would be lovely to live closer to earth. It would be lovely to live in a place with sunshine consistent with my skin color. In the meantime, I am grateful for my ability to supplement judiciously.

    • Arkie says:

      You can be right and still be wrong! ! ! You are right that
      God put things here for us, the plants, trees, herbs, soil mierals,
      etc. However, man has depleted the soil through chemical
      agriculture….Therefore, if it is not in the soil, it in not in
      the plant, and consequently it is not i your body…..V-D requires,
      at leat two other items, for the body to matabolize it……..If we
      ate as the Lord outlned in Liviticus, and ate it Organicaly, and ha
      no pollution in the water or air, we might live to
      120……….God’s Plan keeps us helthy and out of the
      fire……Think it over………….

    • I am retired and now live in FL where I am outside several
      hours most days. My D level was 22. So as we age, some of us don’t
      absorb or process sunlight to vitamin D.

    • at the sea says:

      oh G-d.. why hath thou forsaken me? My D level is at 8.2. I
      live at the beach. Even supplements don’t help me much… Is this
      G-d’s fault?

  24. Kristina says:

    I have serious absorbtion problems and have tried several
    types of D3 supplements – the only one that brought my levels up
    past 25 (from less than 6) was the Bio-Tech brand capsule – 50,000
    IU 2x per week and my levels got up to 74. I slacked off for a bit
    and my levels dropped to 40.

  25. Laura says:

    I have found that if we are earthing (or grounded by being
    barefoot) at the beach, we (my 2 year old son and I) were able to
    get away with not wearing sunscreen and not getting sunburned as
    long as we stayed covered when we biked to the beach (obviously we
    aren’t grounded while biking). We could be out for 2-3 hours
    between the hours of 9am and 1pm and not burn at all. (my son has
    light eyes and a fair complexion so I checked him regularly to make
    sure he is not getting burned). I have often wondered, since my vit
    D levels always seem to be high when I am checked, if perhaps, we
    might also absorb more vitamin D when connected to the earth? Just
    a thought.

  26. Zyxomma says:

    I take Innate, because it’s vegan, and because I love their products.

  27. Cassie says:

    I take one 5000 iu softgel per day of D3. Also try to add in a little fish oil or flax oil in my morning smoothie a few times per week to help with vitamin d absorption.

  28. Gerry says:

    Dr. Jennifer Morano, co-director of True North Health with her husband Dr. Alan Goldhamer, said she works outside gardening much of the summer so assumed her level of Vitamin D would probably carry her through the winter but just in case had her blood checked.
    Result: She was low, so began taking Vitamin D supplementation in the winter. At the end of summer–while avoiding supplmentation–blood tests indicated she was still low, so she realized she must be unable to absorb enough sunshine for her body to make Vitamin D on its own.
    My level of Vitamin D when tested while there was exceptionally low.
    On learning more about it and its importance I could understand my own low levels. My owrk is mostly inside behind a computer and although I have been running for over 40 years, I usually did so pre-dawn before people and traffic cluttered the environment.
    Although I wait until the sun is up, now, my running has suffered greatly for if I fail to give myself that “gift” early in the morning too many diversions keep me from doing so.
    A “Catch 22” situation which I must remedy for the sake of my mental and physical clarity.

  29. Jim says:

    Well that was a safe answer KG meanwhile many find testing
    too expensive or evasive for whatever reason. Recent studies
    indicate a dosage of 4,000 iu is sufficent to provide benefits. It
    is basically acknowledged that safe sun exposure is best and
    provides optimal amounts.Geographical location does however make
    this impossible for many Safe tanning beds are the next best choice
    but has the same drawbacks as testing.Both methods will provide the
    exact amounts each individual requires to a large extent. There are
    some who believe a good diet will provide most if not all of a
    persons needs for D2 which the body coverts to D3 or viable forms
    for overall health. To make a long answer longer intraveinous or
    injection is best for those with metabolic or serious medical
    issues and sublinqual for those with digestion or absorbtion
    issues.Generally I believe that health issues related to vitamin d
    require medical assistance and intervention.I also believe in
    innate intelligence and listening to your body reveals possible
    deficencies of all types. You are however correct testing is the
    only way to know and many regard the hydroxy method as adequete.All
    of these require that each person does their own research due
    dilligence and some experimentation. As always get medical advice
    for all health issues. Jim

  30. Gerry says:

    P.S. I take the D3 liquid, preferably in the morning on an empty stomach as recommended and practiced by Dr. Goldhamer

  31. Giselle says:

    I take vitamin D from Garden of life. It’s Raw & Organic. Be carful of synthetic vitamins everyone. I find Garden of life the best. Amazon has it

  32. Ira Edwards says:

    Mend part of a fence, and the cows still get out somewhere
    else. We agree, vD is needed in amount few of us get from the sun,
    and supplementing is vital. Sun is better, however, producing D3
    sulfate and other benefits. MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff has more
    on this. Her site is easy to find with Google. D3 alone cannot make
    bone without vitamin K2 as several other nutrients. Lack of K2 in
    these times is a greater cause of chronic diseases than low vD.
    Vitamins A, D3 and K2 are a team in need of balance. The frequent
    imbalance is lots of D3 alone. Better, supplement all three. Dr.
    Chris Masterjohn is doing his post-doctoral research on this. We
    know much too little about K2. Read the 2012 book VITAMIN K2 and
    the CALCIUM PARADOX by Dr.Kate Rheaum-Bleue. Ira Edwards, author of
    HONEST NUTRITION

  33. Most holistic experts prefer Vitamin D3 rather than D2 as
    the so-called active form. The pharmaceutical version of D2,
    50,000IU taken once weekly – I have found to be inferior than
    supplement forms and in one case caused severe gastrointestinal
    distress. In other words, it didn’t raise the 25-hydroxy Vit. D
    levels at all and the “green” coloring was likely responsible for
    the gut distress. Realize that drug companies need to kind of
    “mutate” a natural substance in order to patent it and make money.
    I never give my patients the prescription form of Vitamin D! What
    I’ve learned recently is that Vitamin K (especially K2) may be
    important to take in addition to the Vitamin D. The Coles Notes
    version is that Vitamin K, along with Vitamin D (and magnesium for
    that matter) together tells the Calcium to be incorporated in
    bone…rather than floating around calcifying other tissues like
    heart valves and joints! The Weston A Price foundation has some
    excellent articles on the subject of Vitamin D. They recommend
    Vitamin D via cod liver oil, ideally fermented cod liver oil.
    Vegans and vegetarians may have a hard time getting enough K2
    unless they eat a lot of fermented veges. In addition, the lack of
    saturated fat (from animal fat) makes it hard for the fat-soluble
    vitamins such as A and D to be properly absorbed. I’m not a
    holistic nutritionist, but I’ve learned a lot from them of late so
    I wanted to share some of their wisdom. Dr. Karen

  34. Patrick says:

    Hi Kev, hi all

    I take a liquid D3, extremely cheap, 2000 IU per drop. 1 bottle lasts 6 months at around £12-15 (here in UK) – that’s my kind of supplement!!! I was taking 3 drops / day for a few months and my levels shot up to 144, my GP was amazed and relayed to me how expensive the vitamin D that the surgery prescribes costs – at least around 100 times more expensive, amazing but true, check the article out:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2104048/16-vitamin-D-treatment-cost-NHS-2400-supply-problems.html

    Anyway, I was getting a dry mouth etc and was emailed the same week I got the test results by Dr. Mercola about vitamin D overdosing (nice synchronicity), and have since reduced the dose to 2000 IU /day (my doctor didn’t seem to know much about overdosing either – seriously, do we have to do everything by ourselves?!!!). Levels currently at just over 100. Probably a little too high, but I think I’m going to stick with it for the moment, it’s close enough and splitting the dose I can imagine would confuse me over time. I will have to get tested again at the 2000 IU level in a few months.

    Cheers all, enjoy the winter!!

    Patrick

  35. Nancy says:

    My vitamin D levels have been always very low, so after failing to increase them during several periods of time with drops, I had my first injection of vitamin D about 6 months ago. I’m supposed to have two injections a year. Let’s see if it works this time.

  36. Hi Kevin,
    While your post has lots of “truths” it is not factual. (I differentiate between truth, which can be manipulated, like in your cases and fact, which is basically not manipulative)

    1. Only way you can get vitamin D in bioavailable form is from sun. Your statement that you can’t get enough are “truth” but man made.

    1. We believe that lunch time sun causes cancer. Not truth. Exactly opposite. The cancer rate decreases more south you move. Check your country Health Department.
    2. We use sunscreens, which stop beneficial sun rays UV-B but allow the “bad” ones UV-A
    3. The beneficial UV-B you can get only from 10 am to 3 pm and if you live over 50th latitude only in summer only. In the winter you can use tanning salons with electronic ballasts not magnetic.
    4. White skinned person should spend about 20 minutes exposed to receive about 20,000 IU of Vitamin D, darker skinned person should spend more time. This gives you about one week supply of real Vitamin D.
    5. You need to additional ingredients to process Vitamin D – calcium and cholesterol.

    Now the artificial Vitamin D. They are two type D3 made from animal and D2 made from mold (mushrooms) medical profession likes to use vegetable type because its injectable and they can charge more, there is also cardiovascular benefit but from very specific mushrooms, which are farmed under very special conditions. We have to change D2 to D3 to be usable but our metabolic system is not very effective, only about 5-15% is metabolized. That’s the reason the injection usually contains about 100,000 IU.

    The Vitamin D what you can buy, it’s truth, it’s cheap but doesn’t have any value as it comes in 400 – 1000 mg size, too small amount to do anything else just to make problems to your health. Why? The vitamin D is really a hormone and is fat soluble. It’s just make you sick because of the cumulative effect.

  37. MINDY says:

    Don’t you think ViD D1,25-DIhyroxy is the best test. check the D discussion on Dan’s blog: http://www.dansplan.com/blog/index.php
    D 25-hydroxy can be deceiving as it is not the more activated form.

    Otherwise, I so appreciate your sharing and research. Just think you haven’t gone as deeply as I
    am used to you exploring on this one. Does Dr. William really do 25 -hyrdoxy and not the 1,25 test? Check Mercola too.

  38. Charlene Day says:

    Great article on Vitamin D. The majority of people in the
    North America do not synthesize sufficient vitamin D in order to
    meet physiological requirements. Evidence clearly suggests vitamin
    D deficiency/insufficiency is widespread in the developed world.
    There are over 50,000 research publications on the benefits of
    Vitamin D. Additionally, we now know the previously defined Upper
    Limit for safe intake of vitamin D was set far too low, and the
    physiologic requirement is significantly higher than previously
    believed. With the discovery of vitamin D receptors in tissues
    other than the gut and bone – particularly the brain, breast,
    prostate and lymphocytes – recent research suggests the utilization
    of higher amounts of supplemental vitamin D3 for a wider range of
    applications in order to maintain and improve patients’ health.
    Vitamin D supports: a healthy heart, a strong immune system,
    healthy cell development, healthy bones and teeth. As a
    nutritionist, the Vitamin D3, I recommend always works as it is the
    most potent form of vitamin D clinically proven to significantly
    raise blood levels of vitamin D in the body. It is a high potency
    1,000 IU supplement and is 100% guaranteed Shaklee Vita-D3™ is the
    culmination of recent scientific research, including two
    industry-leading Shaklee vitamin D studies. It has over 300 quality
    tests, no artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives
    added, gluten free and Star-K kosher certified. For more
    information, check out http://www.healthysoul-utions.com.

  39. Deb says:

    My doc wants my blood level of vitamin D to be about 80. He put me on 8000 IU daily. Blood test confirms this dose gets my level in the desired range. The doc sells D3 dissolved in olive oil; 2000 IU per drop. The product is Liqui-D3 by Rx Vitamins. It costs about $20 for a bottle of 900 drops (1 oz.).

    The proposed test comparing formulas could be very expensive. Without insurance coverage, the lab charges nearly $250.

  40. Sandra says:

    Fermented Cod Liver Oil + High Vitamin Butter Oil from
    Green Pasture Products. The perfect combination of Vitamins A, D,
    and K which Dr. Weston A. Price found works together for optimal
    health.

  41. Diane says:

    Started taking Vitamin D3 5,000 iu daily, was tested in 3
    months, was only 31 – increased dose to 10,000 iu daily, tested
    again was 42. Retested 3 months later at 78. Am still on 10,000 iu
    daily as my doctor said women need more as we don’t absorb Vitamin
    D3 as well as men. My husband takes 5,000 iu daily. and tested at
    96. Go figure.

  42. I wrote an article on this a few yrs back that explains the
    differences between D2 and D3. Click below. http://wp.me/pS0Z7-2H
    Blessings La Chica Organica

  43. David Gaydos says:

    Kevin,

    Important to note, that Vitamin D3 is fat soluble and best taken with the largest meal of the day, or the one that contains the most fat.

  44. Jeff Bell says:

    Vitamin D is one of the areas I focus on. I think it is absolutely crucial to health. And so far, mainstream medicine has largely ignored it and its role in our health. And when they do pay attention to vitamin D the levels they recommend are far too low. So here are some thnings to know:

    1. If you are supplementing vitamin D, always use D3.

    2. It is a great idea to take vitamin K2-MK7 as well. This is especially important if you are taking high daily amounts of vitamin D, (anything over about 8,000iu per day for an adult.)

    3. If you really want to optimizer your vitamin D levels, then join the Grass Roots Health and get access to tons of great info on their site. You can also get tested through them.

  45. Lovely Leo says:

    For my physical in December 2012, my new internist tested
    my vitamin D levels for the first time. My level was at an abysmal
    6. Yes, a six (6)!!! The internist immediately placed me on a
    prescription vitamin D supplement of 50,000 units of D2 to be taken
    once a week for four weeks. Since that time, my research has
    revealed that D3 is a more beneficiary and absorbable form of the
    vitamin. After more research, I purchased Garden of Life’s Vitamin
    Code Raw D3 (5,000 units per capsule). It purports to be a whole
    food supplement and received excellent feedback from buyers who
    posted their experiences on the four websites I visited for product
    reviews. It has been a little over three weeks since I started
    taking vitamin D, and I already notice a huge difference in my
    health. I started by taking only the prescription supplement the
    first week (1X a week on Sunday); using only the Vitamin Code for
    the second week (everyday); and taking the prescription only for
    the third week. While I used to nap most days (if not everyday) of
    the week, I have only taken two naps–both
    menstruation-related–during this three week period. I can work out
    more strenuously and for longer periods of time without feeling
    completely fatigued and wiped out. My cognitive functioning has
    improved drastically. My libido is on the upswing. I could go on.
    Since my starting levels were so abysmal, I am going in for a
    follow-up in February. I look forward to getting my new test
    results. I will never go without vitamin D supplementation
    again.

  46. Frances says:

    Every time I try taking Vit D within a week I have a very upset stomach. I have been using drops lately but find the same thing has happened. Any advice?

  47. One of the most interesting health writers I’ve read is
    Norman F. Childers Phd. He passed away at l00 years old. He was
    wise and humble, didn’t claim to know more than he did. He
    discovered some very interesting principles that few people have
    figured out. It started by observing the health problems of food
    animals. He was one of those rare individuals capable of caring
    about the happiness of food animals. Pondering on the fact that
    cattle can get arthritis, depending on what kind of weeds are
    growing in their pastures, led him to discover amazing facts about
    what can cause arthritis in people. He wrote a book which I believe
    is now out of print but used copies are available, it’s called,
    “Arthritis, Childer’s Diet that Stops It” I would recommend this
    book to anyone. My husband developed arthritis in his 30s after
    some major toxic exposures. He tried Norm’s ideas. They worked for
    him perfectly. He never needed to use any drugs for his pain
    because he found out about Norm’s ideas soon after the pain
    started. We have stuck to Norm’s ideas for over 25 years now. I was
    one of the thousands of people who sent him sincere fan mail
    thanking him for making our lives so much better than they would
    have been without his help and wisdom.

  48. Norman Childers researched affects of vitamin D3
    supplementation. He said getting your vitamin d from the sun is
    superior, but not possible for everyone, especially in the winter.
    He said that some people are sensitive to vitamin d 3 from food
    supplements and will react with inflammation somewhere in their
    body. He taught how to do avoidance/challenge testing for yourself
    to determine what foods and supplements are good for you. His
    method really works and makes sence. That’s why I metioned his book
    in my previous post. Few health writers have read Childers and
    tried his method of testing to discover how well it works.

  49. Maurice says:

    Revolution D from Stop Aging Now (SAN) 10000iu/day

  50. Katherine says:

    I take a liquid Krill oil (no fishy smell or taste) that
    has D3 and CoQ10 in it, all micellized to make them water soluble
    which increases bioavailability to 90%! There are many components
    to digestion that must be perfect for you to actually utilize most
    supplements…especially the fat soluble ones…the body makes
    these micelles but many things can interfere and if the proper
    enzymes and bile arent present you can actually be digesting less
    than 10% of them. I am having Fantastic results now that I am
    actually absorbing my supplements!

  51. Malin says:

    Hi, what is your opinion on D2 w.D3? Cheers Malin

  52. Yakitah says:

    I understand that people who live closer to the equator, need less or hardly any vitamin D supplement, and
    since we don’t live so close by I do take the little tiny gel amber looking ones daily. I never got a blood test,
    but I tend to let my body talk to me. If it acts sluggish or painful or fatiqued whatever, then I think I need
    to boost something or go for a check up.

    I really am not to fond of Doctors and tend to play doctor myself, but I’m not stupid, I will go if I really get strong
    vibes to do so. As for Vitamin D, I guess I’m ok in that department. I also have a little more melanin which is also
    I’m told is a factor in the need or lack of need for as much of the vitamin.

    Peace.
    Yakitah

  53. Sue says:

    What is the difference between D2 and D3 AND WHICH IS BETTER?

  54. As a health care provider and follower of Joe Mercola, DO, I agree with previous comments on the need to supplement Vitamin D3 (not D2) and combine it with Vitamin K2. In the winter months, we cannot get adequate ultraviolet B from the sun for our skin to produce Vit D, unless you live near the equator or southern hemisphere. Dr. Mercola recommends and sells his “safe” tanning systems, but the $1000+ cost is a bit much for most of us.
    Around the end of April through September, I try to expose as much as my skin to mid-day sun for 20 to 30 minutes. Too early in the morning or afternoon does no good, since more direct sunlight is needed for the skin to produce Vit D. Again, see Mercola.com for confirmation.
    I use Vitacost brand of liquid Vit D3 and find it to be a good value.

  55. Patty says:

    Vitamin D is oil soluble, which means you need to eat fat to absorb it.

  56. Patti Bealer says:

    I actually take a topical supplement, a face cream from
    Living Libations. I have not had my levels tested, but when I
    started taking it, it immediately (it took about a month) helped my
    mood swings. I just love not having to take yet another thing, it
    just goes into my daily regimen that I do anyway.

  57. Frank says:

    Quite obviously the sun is the best source of vitamin D.
    That said, however, that doesn’t mean you can spend 6-8 hours in
    the sun. Not good for the skin. Furthermore, if you use sun screen
    or sun block you delute the amount of vitamin D, probably not
    getting any at all. When I spend time in the sun I only have my
    shirt off for 15 to 20 minutes, then put my shirt back on or go
    inside and let my skin cool down. Then an hour later I do the same
    thing. Of course, if you live in a northern climate that won’t work
    in the winter months so you have to supplement. One other thing. I
    am not a doctor but my take on a lot of skin cancers is that we use
    soap products that plug the pours (sp?) of the skin. The skin is
    the largest cleansing organ in the body but when you use soap
    products that plug the pours toxins cannot excape and stay just
    beneath the surface of the skin. When you spend a lot of time in
    the sun and the skin heats up it might cause some problems with all
    those toxins sitting just under the surface of the skin. I use a
    natural soap so that my skin can do the job it is supposed to do
    and let those toxins escape.

  58. Henrik says:

    I use a liquid D3 since it’s much cheaper than the capsules but still the same high quality. I keep it under my tongue for a while before I swallow it, hoping that will aid absorption.

    I know there’s a vegan D3 now that is made from lichen. Not sure how well it is absorbed though. Would be interesting to take some before/after blood tests.

    Interesting that you don’t bring up D2 vs. D3 Kevin. Why is that?

  59. jim stew says:

    The “Bottom Line”,so to speak, in relation to health ,has been researched and established by a very through biomedical rearcher Dr Joel Wallach BS. DVM. ND. He has documented the 90 essentioa nutrients that are needed for life to persist. If you have these 90 nutrients in a form the body can use,aas the creator intended, then your health will prosper and you probably will be able to avoid drugs all of your long and natural life.
    You can research this info at http://www.thewallachfiles.com and also contact me at http://www.my90forlife.com/beekeeper site.
    Another reliable site that helped my understanding of the bodys basic needs for good health is http://www.Drpasswater,com. Search internally for “sodium-potassium ratio” , read all the threads and see how important the mineral balance is to your body. This adds to what doc wallach is presenting relative to the 90 essential nutrients.
    thanks jim stew

  60. Sarah Norris says:

    I take Shaklee Vita-D. Over 300 quality tests to guarantee
    purity, plus two Shjaklee industry leading vitamin D
    studies.

  61. Janet says:

    Kinesiology muscle testing is helpful also. I work with a
    chiropractor/naturopath. He has a few types available and we test
    them for my body with muscle testing and then we even test 1 drop,
    2 drops, etc. For dosage by asking my body yes/No questions. It’s
    neat stuff and very helpful esp. W/ supplements. Thanks for all
    your info. And support. Janet

  62. Marlene says:

    I’ve found that the oil used to carry the Vit D-3 is of significance. It is important that it be a good oil, such as olive oil rather than soybean or corn oil (too much of a risk that it be GM). I take a 5,000 IU gel cap twice a day and have been doing so for several years. I’m 63 years old and my joints are free of arthritis, despite years of gymnastics, dancing, and fall injuries in my past. I haven’t had a cold since I’ve been taking the supplements and my allergies are reduced as well.

    • Marlene says:

      I forgot to mention that I also take 150 mcg of Vit K-2 MK-7 to be a “traffic cop” that directs the D-3 and calcium to the right places in the body so that bone building occurrs and not bone spurs.

  63. Katherine says:

    Is it a good idea to suppliment with vitamin D & K.
    I have been led to understand that without K and even if you don’t
    suppliment with calcium but the calcium just from food or calcium
    from suppliments cannot absorbed properly without K and can cause
    deposits in the heart instead of strengthening the bones. I am not
    sure if I am explaining this correctly but could you comment on the
    benifits or if K is a good idea and/or the concerns of K.

  64. I have taken both capsules and tablets, but I am now using a spray from a herbalist. Each spray contains 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 and 120 mcg of Vitamin K-2. After reading several articles about Vitamin D3, I am taking 6,000 IU a day in three doses. Evidently the Mayo Clinic is now advocating 10,000 IU per day. I also discovered that Vitamin D2 is synthetic, so is of little value to your body. As to getting our Vitamin D from the sun, I live in a climate where we have winter conditions for several months of the year. For people who work, they get up in the dark, go to work and come home in the dark for part of that time. And much of the time we do not see a great deal of sunshine anyway. And even if it were sunny, it is too cold to “bask” in it except in summer months. Also, the risk of skin cancer is something to take into consideration as well. As for vegetables and fruits which have absorbed the sun’s rays, when those have to be imported from a great distance, they lose much of their nutrient content by the time they end up in our stores. I have also been taught that anything you take in sublingual form is by far the best because it goes directly into your blood stream and bypasses the digestive tract. It is quickly bio-available.

  65. I am taking Nature Made vitamin D3 1000 iu tablet once a
    day. My lab showed a low Vit. D (33) and the supplement increased
    it a little so I may need to get the sublingual tablets or increase
    my dose. I am currently discussing this with my MD. The sun doesn’t
    work for me because I have Kevin’s coloring and I wear sunscreen. I
    don’t spend much time in the sun to say the least. Also being over
    65, your vit. D drops so hence the supplementation. Healthy young
    people usually do not need to take supplementation unless they have
    a physical problem that necessitates it or their nutrition is not
    up to par. Taking supplements does not replace eating right (my
    opinion).

    • My 2 sons and I take vitamin D daily. My sons get 1200 daily, I take 5,000. My baseline D level 3 years ago was 30, AFTER TAKING 5,000 DAILY FOR 4 MONTHS OVER THE WINTER. So I must have been low. Im in the northeastern USA. I used to get seasonal affective disorder, and long winter colds that would take forever to go away. Now my kids are hardly ever sick, same with me. If we do get a cold, it lasts for up to 3 days that’s it! And I no longer feel sad and depressed in the winter. So, yes, it is up to the individual whether they need it or not, do you research. People should not be saying on here that young people do not need it, sorry not trying to offend anyone but know your information before making such a statment.

  66. Amy says:

    I starting taking vitamin D3 over three years ago and within one month I was told to go to the emergency room by my primary care due to an unknown skin condition that neither he nor the other doctors in his practice had ever seen before. My entire body was covered in raw itchy skin and I had a raging staph infection. My left leg was swollen with cellulitis. When it started moving to my face my doctor became even more concerned which prompted his recommendation to go to the emergency room. The ER doctor had no idea what was going on and I was labled as a possible infectious skin disease patient. Obviously I was admitted to the hospital. The final diagnosis – a severe allergic reaction. I was sent home three days later with prescriptions for oral steriods, steriod cream and an anti itching med. This was a huge shock to my all natural healing preference but the itching was uncontrollable. It took me another year to find the culprit. Vitamin D3 at the time was sourced from lanolin, which I am allergic to. If I had of known I would have never taken the D3. It is now three years later and I am still trying to heal my skin from that horrible ordeal. I have talked to many people in the last year that are allergic to lanolin. Some are taking D3 with no issues so far. Is D3 still sourced from lanolin? What is your recommendation on the more synthetic form D2? I a have not taken any vitamin D and avoid everything that has D3 in it for the last year but I am sure my D levels are very low. They were over three years ago which is why I started taking it to begin with. My skin is actually itching right now recalling all this:) Any suggestions?

  67. kt mm says:

    What about tanning booths? I thought I read somewhere that booths can help, too, depending on the ratio of UVB? This article was a teaser. 🙂 I guess the ultimate point is you don’t know for sure if it’s working unless you test.

  68. My Son died last week not from cancer on his brain after
    three operations to remove it by surgery. From additional
    investigation my son died from a weak heart which was not
    diagnosed, clearly this should have been investigated before the
    operations were undertaken.

  69. Sunny says:

    I use Coromega with D3, plus sublingual D3 from Twin Labs, and do TraceMin supplementation for minerals and eat lots of Kale for K2 🙂

  70. Roberta says:

    I was tested low 1000 iu, but was already taking 1000 iu. Next year I tested low 2000 iu even though I was taking 2000 iu for the past year. I switched products and use the D3 5,000 iu from TrueHealth.com That one has my levels perfect. I use a third of a capsule dissolved in juice for my kids.

  71. Barb Roy says:

    Kevin and Carol,
    I would like to add to the discussion by saying my Chinese herbalist, who also does my acupuncture, recommended D-5000 from Thorne Research (brand) for me. It is a high quality brand and only cost around $13 for a bottle of 60. I take it once daily and an extra one every third day or so. I have had no problem and feel much better since I began taking the supplement. Since I live in the northwestern part of the US, our sun exposure is limited, especially during the winter months.

    A book I have found to be very useful and informative on the subject is called ‘The Vitamin D Solution’ by Dr. Michael F. Holick. Many libraries carry the book. My Chinese doctor said he takes 10,000iu of vitamin D per day. I hope this was of some help!

  72. Jan says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Have just received an email from my GP who has been running Cancer Retreats since 1989 and is a Nutritionist Dr.
    I’ve recently had my Vit D level done and was a bit low. She advised me to take 5000 units daily for 2 months, then get re-checked. Also advised to use Vit D with some Vit K for better results, and said must have with the largest meal of the day and has to contain some olive oil (cold, on after cooking or if raw food, cold also) for better absorption. I hope this helps someone.
    Warm regards, Jan Western Australia

  73. Lisa says:

    I take vitamin D3-5 (5,000mg) I take 2, which my doctor recommended. I also get vitamin D2 with my multi, which needs to work with vitamin K. So, all bases are covered.

  74. Kevin, I was at my local natural food store refilling up on my vitamin D. I noticed that my gelcaps i usually buy are in soybean oil…now here comes the GMO issue: do you know of any vitamin D supplements that are in non GMO oil bases?? Or non-hexane obtained oils like safflower?? Which would you say is better, safflower with hexane obtianed oil, or GMO soybean oil??? Geez, can any company be trusted anymore??? I was annoyed when i finally actually read the label, which I usually do. But never paid attention to the D, figuring if sold at my fav. natural store then it must be good right?? wrong…help a gal out will ya, thanks I enjoy your blog!!

    Lori P.S. If you ahve time, would love you toforward the reply to my email address too. Thanks!!! P.S. The brand was Solgar, which I htought was fairly reputable….am I wrong here or no…

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