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By now, you’re probably well aware of how important it is to get enough vitamin D, be it naturally or otherwise — particularly in the grayer days of the year. Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” this essential micronutrient plays a crucial role in many of our body’s internal processes — especially as we get older. Taking the best supplement for vitamin D is an easy way to get your necessary fill, and lucky for you, we know just where to find them.
The Importance of Vitamin D
According to a 2014 study in The Journal of Aging and Gerontology, maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels is not only beneficial to our skeletal health, but to our nervous, cardiovascular,and endocrine systems, impacting everything from our mood to our sleep quality and bone health.
Alternately, low levels of vitamin D are linked to many diseases associated with aging, such as cognitive decline, depression, and mood disorders, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cancer — just to name a few.
While many of us receive adequate amounts of this vital nutrient through healthy diet and sun exposure, it is possible, and even common, to become vitamin D deficient.
If you don’t spend much time outside or wear ample sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, you might be at risk for such a deficiency. You may also not be getting the vitamin D you need if your diet is lacking in fatty, oily fishes (such as salmon, tuna, and oysters), as well as fortified dairy sources, like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include frequent illness, fatigue, bone and muscle pain, depression, and hair and bone loss. If you think you might be vitamin D deficient, check with your doctor, who can run a blood test.
The Benefits of Supplements
In 2011, the Institute of Medicine issued an updated recommended dietary intake for vitamin D of 600 international units (IU) per day for ages 1 to 70, and more than 800 IU for adults over the age of 70. By taking a daily supplement, you’ll be able to get your levels healthy, which will provide plenty of benefits.
Per the National Institutes of Health, supplementing with vitamin D will help to increase bone mineral density, which can help prevent fractures and falls in post-menopausal women.
You’ll want to check with your doctor to ensure the supplement you’re taking meets your dietary needs, but once you’ve been cleared to introduce these supplements into your vitamin regimen, we’ve done the legwork of rounding up the best options your money can buy. Keep reading for Woman’s World’s picks for best vitamin D supplements for women over 50!
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Best Vitamin D Gummies
Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummies
Where to buy: From $8.01 (Originally $10.49), Amazon
Capsules can often be hard to swallow or come with an awful aftertaste, so Vitafusion’s vitamin D3 gummies are a tasty alternative. The natural peach and berry flavors of this supplement will have you looking forward to taking it daily, and you'll be loading your system up with 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 — that's 250 percent of your recommended daily intake!
Best Vitamin D for Bone Health
Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3
Where to buy: $14.41, Amazon
With 1,000 ICU of vitamin D3 per vitamin, these Nordic Naturals supplements provide you with 125 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of D3 per capsule, making it a must-buy for those who struggle to hit their daily quota. Taking it on a regular basis will help with immune function, as well as boost your mood and musculoskeletal health, too.
Best Vitamin D Supplement for Low Levels
NatureWise Vitamin D3
Where to buy: $14.99, Amazon
If your doctor has cautioned that your vitamin D levels are severely low, NatureWise’s daily capsules will be your best bet for upping your levels. Each softgel tablet contains a whopping 1,250 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin D3, delivered in cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil for optimal absorption. Aside from bone health, immune support, and muscle health, it can also aid with dental health, keeping your teeth nice and strong.
Best Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement
Vitacost Pure Encapsulations Calcium With Vitamin D3
Where to buy: $26.60, Vitacost
Getting enough vitamin D and calcium each day can be tough, but is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Just two of Vitacost’s Pure Encapsulations will be enough provide you with 250 percent of your daily D3 needs, plus 40 percent of your daily calcium needs (which also helps to strengthen bones). In short? This supplement provides plenty of bang for your buck.
Best Vegan Vitamin D Vegan Supplement
Garden of Life Mykind Organic Chewables
Where to buy: $13.29, Amazon
If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and you aren’t eating fatty fish or fortified dairy sources, you’ll want to be especially vigilant about your vitamin D levels. Garden of Life’s Mykind organic chewable tablets come in a delicious organic raspberry lemon flavor with no added sugars or stevia. Better yet, they contain no animal by-products, making them vegetarian and vegan-friendly while still giving you 2,000 IU — that's 500 percent — of your necessary vitamin D3 levels.
Best Vitamin D Supplement with Minimal Fillers
Where to buy: $11, iHerb
Dietary supplements are often unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so many can contain icky fillers or hidden ingredients that lead to unpleasant side effects. Thorne Research’s vitamin D supplement skips sneaky extras, such as lactose, BHT, BHA, sodium benzoate, and sorbic acid, in favor of 1,250 percent of your daily vitamin D3. With 92 percent of Amazon reviewers giving this product five stars, it’s a great option for those who prefer to keep things uncomplicated.
Easiest Vitamin D Supplement to Swallow
Health Thru Nutrition
Where to buy: $8.99, Amazon
If you dread choking down big pills (don’t we all?) you’ll love Health Thru Nutrition softgels, which are praised by reviewers for their small size and odorless aftertaste.
Reviewer Cassandra wrote, “Bought this because my doctor found me to be vitamin D deficient and recommended a supplement. These are the smallest liquid gel pills I've ever seen and I love [them]. They are super easy to swallow. Highly recommend!”
Best Vitamin D Supplement for Mood
Metagenics D3 2000 Complex
Where to buy: $33.74, Amazon
Those who don't get out much once the temps begin to dip or have little sunlight available during these cold, harsh winters will want to try Metagenics’ D3 2000 complex. 89 percent of reviews are rated at 4 or 5 stars, with several purchasers mentioning the boost in mood they receive from this supplement.
“I have taken these for years. I have tried other brands, but I always go back to this one. ... I originally started taking it for the winter blues, and now other members of my family take it in the winter. In addition, I have fibromyalgia, so I need to maintain my vitamin D levels," wrote one pleased shopper.
Best Vitamin D Supplement for Psoriasis
Zahler Vitamin D3
Where to buy: $19.95, Amazon
Reviewers are going gaga for Zahler’s Vitamin D3 supplements, which pack 50,000 IUs into each and every serving. In addition to providing support for muscles, bones, and teeth, it's also great for those with psoriasis. People who suffer from the chronic autoimmune skin condition boast about this supplement’s ability to improve flare-ups, among other benefits.
Wrote one: "My husband and I have been taking this nearly every day for almost three weeks now. He has noticed a major improvement in the psoriasis he's had for 20 years."
Top Rated Vitamin D Supplement
Dr. Tobias Vitamin D-3
Where to buy: $13.97 (Originally $19.99), Amazon
Dr Tobias’ vitamin D-3 supplement is not only listed as one of Amazon's choice picks, it has a perfect five-star rating on Amazon from buyers, several of which noted significant improvement in symptoms from multiple sclerosis and other chronic illnesses . It has 5,000 IUs in every capsule and is made with non-GMO ingredients.