Vitamin D: So Much More than a Vitamin. An expert opinion.
Vitamin D is no ordinary micronutrient. It actually serves as a steroid hormone that plays an important role in regulating levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood as well as bone health.
It is commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin” because when your skin is exposed to sunlight, your body synthesizes vitamin D from cholesterol. This nutrient has many roles which include immune, cardiovascular, stress, reproductive and musculoskeletal support.
Depending on where you live in the world, you may need to supplement with vitamin D to ensure you consume adequate amounts. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamin D is 600 IU (15mcg) and can be found in limited food sources such as salmon, egg yolk, tuna and fortified foods. It can also be found in plant-based sources such as mushrooms as vitamin D2, the inactive form.
Vitamin D is one of the top nutrient deficiencies in the world, so taking it in supplement form is a great way to ensure adequate intake.
NatureWise Vitamin D3
With 5000 IU of vitamin D3, NatureWise is a smart choice to help anyone who has been diagnosed with a deficiency. With the convenience of only 1 softgel daily and being free of all common allergens, this product is optimal for those on-the-go or who have food sensitivities.
Summary of NatureWise Vitamin D3:
Free of gluten, dairy, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, peanuts
Active D3 form
Most for Enhanced Absorption
Sports Research Vitamin D3
Made with non-GMO coconut oil, Sports Research supports better absorption. Due to vitamin D being fat soluble, it requires dietary fat to be absorbed properly in the gut. Coconut oil also has immune supporting properties which work right along with those same properties in vitamin D.
Summary of Sports Research Vitamin D3:
3rd Party Tested
Best for Bone Health
Sports Research K2 + D3
One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin D is its role in bone health. Another vitamin that does not receive nearly as much credit in this area is vitamin K2. This nutrient works with vitamin D in maintaining calcium balance in the bone therefore supporting bone density which becomes especially important as we age, as bone density begins to decline.
Summary of Sports Research K2 + D3:
Contains vitamin K2
What You Need to Know
When looking for a vitamin D supplement, here are three things you should look for:
First, make sure the supplement contains the active form of vitamin D which may be listed as vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). This form of vitamin D is especially important if you have been diagnosed with a deficiency because unlike vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), vitamin D3 is easily absorbed and utilized in the body.
Secondly, the supplement should be suspended in a fat source such as organic olive oil or coconut oil to enhance absorption. Review the supplement label to avoid any heavily processed vegetable oils such as soybean oil.
Lastly, look for an organic certification on the label. Choosing organic versus conventional may decrease your exposure to pesticides that can affect your health negatively.
Why Would You Take D3?
Vitamin D is essential to functions in all systems of the body. Having less than the recommended amount may cause increases in systemic inflammation which may lead to disease. Vitamin D plays a strong role not only in bone health, but also in stress reduction as well. When the body is stressed, whether physically or mentally, vitamin D utilization increases, therefore your intake needs to increase as well. For optimal health, vitamin D is imperative.