It will come as no surprise, that a lot of us Irish folk aren't getting all the vitamin D we need. Dubbed the 'sunshine vitamin', your body produces vitamin D naturally when the skin is directly exposed to the sun so you may feel you aren't getting enough naturally. If you're looking to up your intake, here are 5 of the best vitamin D supplements that will help you meet your daily requirement.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D (also known as calciferol) is a fat soluble vitamin essential for many important functions in the body. It's most important job is helping the body absorb calcium, as this is essential for bone health. Vitamin D also aids cell division and plays a crucial role in promoting immune response.
How Can I Get Vitamin D?
It's often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as it is produced naturally when the skin is directly exposed to sunlight. But you can also get vitamin D from certain foods such as oily fish, eggs, meat, yoghurt, and fortified cereals and milk. However, It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from your diet alone as very few foods naturally contain vitamin D.
It can also be tricky for the body to absorb it from foods. Because of this, and Ireland's low sunshine levels, many people are often deficient in this essential vitamin and will require a supplement (deficiency can result in rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults).
Luckily, there are plenty of supplements that can do the job for you. We've rounded up 5 of the best vitamin D supplements that will ensure you're getting your daily requirement below.
Vitamin D: RDA
The Department of Health recently recommended adults aged 65 and over take a supplement of 15 micrograms (600IU) every day to maintain good bone and muscle health.
Vitamin D During Pregnancy
An important group at risk of low vitamin D levels are pregnant women, especially those who have had several babies close together, and exclusively breastfed babies. This is because the babies depend on Mum’s supply of Vitamin D, both before birth and in the first 6 months of life for healthy bone and teeth growth. It may be difficult for Mums to maintain the stores of vitamin D needed for this without taking supplementation. It is not safe for babies to have their skin exposed to sunlight to produce their vitamin D.
The HSE currently recommends a daily 10micrograms (400IU) vitamin D supplement for all those at risk including pregnant mothers (this is included in many prenatal multivitamin preparations).
Vitamin D & Babies
The HSE recommend 5 micrograms (200IU) daily Vitamin D for all newborns for the first year of life if breastfed or are taking less than 300mls or 10 fluid oz (ounces) of infant formula a day.
You do not need to give your baby a vitamin D supplement if they are fed more than 300mls or 10 fluid oz (ounces) of infant formula a day. This is due to an increase in the amount of vitamin D added to infant formula.
Children Aged 1-4
Children aged 1 to 4 need a vitamin D supplement every day for several months of the year. They should be given 5 micrograms (200IU) from Halloween (October 31st) to St Patrick’s Day (March 17th).
At Risk Groups
There are certain people that may also be at risk of vitamin D deficiency and should can consider supplementation or ensure they're getting adequate levels through food/sun exposure. They are anyone who cover up their skin entirely when outdoors or are inside for long periods of time.
People who have darker skin have more melanin which reduces your ability to synthesize Vitamin D from the sun (for example those of African, African-Caribbean or south Asian origin). Therefore they may require a 10mcg (400IU) supplement also.
5 of the Best Vitamin D Supplements
We stock a wide range of vitamin D supplements here at Evergreen Healthfoods, in many different strengths. They're also available in many forms including tablets, capsules, sprays and liquids, so you're sure to find something that suits your needs. We also stock vitamin D food supplements specifically formulated for babies, children, adults and pregnant women. Check out 5 of the best vitamin D supplements below.
1. BioActive D-Pearls (formally known as Pharma Nord)
BioActive D-Pearls are an excellent supplement to ensure you are getting adequate levels of vitamin D. Just one capsule (or pearl) contains 1520IU of biologically active vitamin dissolved in organic olive oil to increase its absorption. This is more than enough to maintain optimum levels. BioActive D-Pearls are small, easy to swallow and readily dissolve in the stomach. They can also be chewed should you have trouble swallowing. These are also available in BioActive D-Pearls Junior which are suitable for children aged 2 years plus.
2. Better You Dlux 3000 IU Vitamin D Oral Spray
Better You Dlux Vitamin D Oral Spray contains 3000IU/75ug of Vitamin D3 per spray. This convenient spray is scientifically proven to deliver this vital vitamin straight into your bloodstream, simply spray under your tongue or on the inside of your cheek. Because it by-passes the digestive system, it is the fastest and most effective delivery of vitamin D available. Each bottle contains approximately 100 peppermint flavour sprays per bottle which equates to about a 3 month supply.
3. Viridian Liquid Vitamin D (Vegan D3)
Viridians Vitamin D drops provide vitamin D3 in a quick and easy to use dropper bottle. Each 0.5ml provides 2000IU of vitamin D in a pleasant orange flavour. This vitamin D food supplement is made from lichen, in a base of rice bran oil and natural orange oil making it suitable for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. It is also gluten free and dairy free. This high quality food supplement contains 100% active ingredients.
4. Solgar Vitamin D3 4000 IU
Solgar’s Vitamin D3 provides you with 4000IU of Vitamin D3. This high strength food supplement comes in a once-a-day capsule. Solgar have developed this extra potent food supplement, which is extremely convenient to use and highly effective. This food supplement is suitable for vegetarians and is also free from gluten, wheat and dairy.
5. BabyVit Vitamin D3 Drops
Babies who are breastfed consume very little vitamin D3, especially if the mother is vitamin D3 deficient. Formula fed babies may also need added vitamin D if the formula hasn't been fortified. Just two tiny drops of these BabyVit Vitamin D3 drops can provide your 0 to 12 months child with their recommended daily dose of 200 IU of Vitamin D. Give these colourless, odourless and tasteless drops directly to your baby or add it to food or drink for easier consumption. The handy dropper applicator allows you to ensure you are supplying the correct dosage. Each bottle contains 340 drops, (almost a 6 month supply) of vital vitamin D for your baby.
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.
Checked and updated: 11 August 2021