Vitamin D: Types, Sources, and Proper Dosing

December 9, 2019

Now if you’ve visited our retail store and pharmacy here in Woodstock, New York, either because you live close by or you’re visiting our famous small town, you know that I’m actually on the floor right now. And I’m on the floor because this is where the vitamin D is, and we’re talking today about vitamin D. And specifically, we’re gonna be talking about the dosages and the forms of vitamin D. Now, there are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 which comes from plant sources like mushrooms and lichen; and vitamin D3 which comes from animal sources. Now, we recommend to stay far, far away from vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the more bio-available form, meaning our body utilizes it more and it maintains vitamin D levels much better than vitamin D2 does. So when you’re buying vitamin D, look for vitamin D3 only. Now, vitamin D can come in lots of dosage forms: capsules, tablets, powders softgels, liquids, just to name a few. And our recommendation is to avoid all of the dry powder forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D is best absorbed in its liquid state. So that means only liquids or softgels, which of course, are liquids inside of their little soft gel encapsulation. So to get the best results, take vitamin D3, and take it from only liquid sources like softgels or liquids. An interesting fact about vitamin D is that there isn’t a single raw material source like there are for most supplements. You can get vitamin D from lots of different things and there are three major sources used in vitamin D manufacturing. The first is the one that’s found in almost every vitamin D pill on the market, and that is sheep’s wool, or lanolin. They expose the sheep’s wool to UV light and that converts it into vitamin D. Another source found in the Blue Bonnet brand that we carry is cod liver oil. So, cod livers are rich in vitamin D. It’s one of the foods that have an adequate amount of vitamin D in it. So if you use those during processing to create a concentrate of vitamin D, you’re gonna be in luck. The really interesting thing about cod liver oil, just as an aside: cod liver oil- people would take the spoonfuls of, and now they taste a lot better than they used to, for sure. But you would take it for your essential fatty acids: EPA and DHA. The vitamin D that’s found in cod liver oil supplements is actually added back in using the sheep’s wool version of vitamin D to keep the levels consistent. So that’s a little interesting factoid. Finally, the last source of vitamin D- it’s an animal friendly source that’s coming from lichen, so it’s typically marketed as a vegan vitamin D. And these softgels are delicious. I would recommend if you have a sweet tooth like me to avoid these because you want to just have more than one. So that’s it, those are the three sources of vitamin D. All of them are the same! So whether you take it from Cod, from sheep’s wool, or from lichen, you’re getting vitamin D. So, what really matters is that you get the proper dose and you’re getting it in a form that’s most absorbable. A common question we’re asked is: how much vitamin D should I take? And that’s a pretty complicated answer. We’ve covered it in our most recent blog on vitamin D so you can check that out at the link below. But for most people, taking about a thousand units a day is more than enough vitamin D. Some people that are deficient they may need to take as much as 2,000 units of vitamin D a day. But doses higher than 2,000 units really should be reserved for people with a true deficiency or some special case. So it’s best to talk to a health expert about how much vitamin D you should be using at any given time. I hope these tips have been helpful in choosing the proper vitamin D supplement for you and I’m not saying that I’m out of shape but I’m probably still on the floor. So send help. Thanks.

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