Your Vitamin D Supplement Might Not Be Doing As Much As You Think

“For people with known low vitamin D levels, I typically recommend choosing a vitamin D3 supplement of 5,000 IU and taking it daily for eight to 12 weeks before re-testing blood levels,” suggests Crouch. “That said, seasons of the year, typical sun exposure, skin tone, and body fat should all be considered, as these traits could increase a person’s supplement needs.”*

Of course, there is a place for some of the lower-dose vitamin D supplements you see out there (think anything less than 3,000 IU)—specifically when someone is taking multiple supplements that contain vitamin D3, like a multivitamin and a bone or immune health supplement, highlights dietitian Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.* A lower-dose product can also be an easy way to augment your current D routine in the winter months, she suggests.

In these cases of multiple D inputs, Ferira explains that you’ll want to “think of your daily D3 supplement as your critical foundation to achieve and maintain healthy vitamin D levels, and approach the lesser but useful bits of vitamin D from a multivitamin, immune complex, diet, and sunshine as complementary extra, bonus if you will.”*

Generally, though, you probably need to take more vitamin D than you think, especially if you have insufficient or deficient levels, since even those with already-healthy levels need 3,000 IU per day just to avoid dipping into a state of insufficiency. Consider a high-potency option, such as mbg’s vitamin D3 potency+ (which offers 5,000 IU of sustainable organic algal vitamin D3) or another one of our favorite vitamin D supplements.*

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