How to choose Vitamin D3: dosing, levels, form, and route of administration

Did you know that around 1 in 4 people in the USA isn’t getting enough vitamin D? We get it from the sunshine, so we might not make enough during the wintertime. However, ensuring normal vitamin D levels is critical for health and well-being. In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of vitamin D and its importance. In addition, we’ll go into foods you can get it from and how to maximize your intake. Let’s get started! 

Why Vitamin D Matters

What are the functions and benefits of vitamin D? This essential vitamin has a myriad of crucial functions in the body: 

  • Supports bone strength as it helps mineralize it by incorporating calcium and phosphorus
  • It is required for proper muscle growth, strength, and function, which can benefit skeletal health and athletes.
  • Ensures strong immunity through positive action in immune cells; lowers the risk of getting infections 
  • Benefits cardiovascular health and metabolic health 
  • Keeps the brain in good shape, as it may support nerve growth and protect the brain from oxidative stress.

What to learn more about this great vitamin? Check out everything you need to know about vitamin D! 

Not getting enough vitamin D for a prolonged period is typically the cause of a vitamin D deficiency. However, there may be other medical causes as well. So, it’s helpful to monitor signs that may show that you’re in that position. 

How can you tell you’re not getting sufficient amounts of the vitamin? Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include

  • Weak or brittle bone 
  • Unusual bone shape
  • Pain in the bone 
  • Spasms 
  • Tiredness or low mood
  • Issues with teeth 

The best way to determine if you have a vitamin D deficiency is by contacting your physician, who can order the proper tests to check. 

The Different Forms of Vitamin D

Natural vitamin D comes in two forms – vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. We’ll cover the differences between the two and the foods you can get them from. 

-Vitamin D2

Vitamin D2 is the form of this essential vitamin that is usually found in plants. It has its own name – ergocalciferol. The difference between this form and D3 is in the molecule’s structure. 

This form of the vitamin is found naturally in mushrooms. Some mushrooms are exposed to additional UV light to enrich their vitamin D content. You can search for these types of mushrooms in the shops if you need to increase your vitamin D intake. Many vitamin D-fortified products will also contain this form of the vitamin. If you’re trying to meet your requirements, the requirements of D2 and D3 are equal. Vitamin D2 is typically produced from yeast, making it an excellent vegan option. 

-Vitamin D3

This form of vitamin D3 is the one that we make naturally. The reaction happens when we get exposed to UVB light. The UVB converts a compound we have, 7-dehydrocholesterol, into vitamin D3. However, how much of the vitamin D we keep depends on a few factors:

  • Whether you’re wearing clothing that covers skin and limits UVB contact 
  • How much time you’re outdoors 
  • The color of your skin – dark skin contains melanin
  • Age – older people produce less of the starting compound and tend to spend less time outside
  • Living farther from the equator, where there is weaker UVB during the winter months

In addition to being able to make it, we can get some vitamin D3 from food. Good foods with vitamin D include foods like fatty fish and fish oil. In addition, liver and eggs tend to contain the micronutrient. Some foods, such as juice or dairy products, may be enriched with the vitamin. 

Vitamin D3 is the form that is considered better than D2. This is because we naturally produce it. It is also better at raising vitamin D levels in the blood for a more extended period. Both vegan and non-vegan sources of the vitamin can be used to make vitamin D3 supplements. Therefore, pay attention to that when picking your supplements. 

How to Choose the Best Vitamin D3 Supplement?

A question arises if we are low on vitamin D and can’t get enough from foods or the sun. What’s the best way to get enough vitamin D in that case? Supplements can be a practical and convenient option. 

However, the market is filled to the brim with supplements promising you a strong dose of vitamin D. How can you choose a supplement that works for you and is effective? 

Here are some things to consider when choosing your vitamin D supplement. 

01 The form of vitamin D. As mentioned earlier, the form of vitamin D matters. Since it comes in two forms, vitamin D2 and D3, you need to choose which one you want. Vitamin D3 will be a better option for many due to its high bioavailability. Make sure to check the ingredient list in the supplement you’re buying to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want. If you can’t tell which form of vitamin D is present, remember the alternative names for the two forms. Vitamin D2 is called ergocalciferol and vitamin D3 is called cholecalciferol. 

02 The form of the supplement. Everyone has their favorite way of taking supplements. Some people are okay with swallowing tablets. Some prefer adding their vitamins to dishes or smoothies. If you’re a fan of adding vitamins to foods or drinks, a drop form might work better for you. Alternatively, especially in the case of the little ones, a gummy form might be preferable, as it’s a tasty and fun way to take a vitamin. Explore your options when choosing a supplement. You’re more likely to stick to taking a supplement regularly if you enjoy the process. 

03 Know what vitamin D is soluble in. Another key point that ties in with understanding the optimal supplement form for you is solubility. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning it doesn’t dissolve easily if you put it in water. However, it dissolves well in lipids and oils, such as sunflower oil or olive oil. Therefore, the best supplements will have the vitamin in a lipid base. The best way to achieve that is through a softgel form. The softgels have a gel outer coat, which encases a lipid, such as sunflower oil. The softgel form allows for better absorption compared to a simple tab. Alternatively, liquid vitamin D forms containing an oil base can provide great solubility. 

04 The dosage of the supplement. Each one of us has a different goal for vitamin D supplementation. Some may be correcting a deficiency. Others may be trying to prevent one. Whatever the goal is, you need to understand how much vitamin D you require. Many supplements will have dosages around or just under the daily recommended dose. Those who lead active lifestyles or are addressing a deficiency may consider higher dosages. Maxler Vitamin D3 5000IU Drops are a great option, providing a quality dose of vitamin D3.


05 Any restrictions you might have. Many of us have dietary restrictions, which affect us in two ways. First, they may limit the nutrients we are able to get from foods. For example, vegetarians and vegans tend to get less vitamin D and other vitamins than those who eat meat. Second, the dietary restrictions may affect the types of supplements you can take. Always make sure to choose a supplement that suits your restrictions; if unclear, reach out to the manufacturer. 

06 The quality of the supplement. Supplements, including vitamins, are not medicines. Therefore, the quality of the supplement can vary. Quality is essential when looking for the best supplements for vitamin D. Check the manufacturer’s standards if you can. Look for brands that don’t try to hide details about how their supplements are made. If you can, get supplements that have their quality certified. That can be external testing of the product. Alternatively, companies may produce supplements that follow rigorous quality control rules in factories. For example, Maxler products are manufactured in GMP and IFS-certified factories. 

07 Any additional ingredients present in the supplement. Some nutrients work better with other things. Therefore, you might consider whether you need additional ingredients when looking for a supplement. For example, vitamin D supports calcium absorption and works well with vitamin K. Therefore, if either of these are nutrients you’d like to increase your intake of, a supplement containing both may be a good option.  

There are many factors that will affect your decision on which supplement can work for you. Understanding them can help you decide and ensure you’re getting what you need without compromising on quality and absorption. 

How Much Vitamin D3 Should You Take?

Now that you know how to choose the right vitamin D supplement, it’s time for another essential question. How much vitamin D should you get per day? 

A test is the first thing you can do to help address the question. Testing for your nutrient status is the best way to tell if you’re low on vitamin D. It can also help you understand whether you need larger quantities of vitamin D or you just need the norm. In addition, your physician will be able to advise on the best ways to address your vitamin D levels. 

However, there are also general guidelines on how much vitamin D you should consume. The guidelines help to ensure you have a normal vitamin D level. In the US, the general recommendation is to get at least 600 IU if you’re an adult. However, a higher intake is allowed and can be beneficial. In fact, the Endocrine Society suggests that people need at least 1,500-2,000 IU a day. Older people, especially, can benefit from higher doses. 

Some people can benefit from even higher doses of the vitamin over a prolonged period of time. These are the people who have low vitamin D levels and who are at increased risk of deficiency. However, for higher doses, it’s best to consult with a physician, as they’ll be able to suggest a dose and how long to take it. 

Vitamin D is essential for a healthy body and a healthy mind. With many of us not getting enough of it, it’s important to understand how to address that. One of the best ways to address low levels of the nutrient is by incorporating sources of vitamin D into your day-to-day. This can be a mix of foods, sun exposure and even supplements. With our handy guide, we hope that you feel more empowered to make the decisions surrounding vitamin D3 intake. Stay healthy!

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