New Vitamin D3 Products Address Vitamin D Deficiency Crisis

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As we’ve previously explained, research in recent years is showing that vitamin D deficiency appears to be a widespread health problem affecting much or most of the population of nations such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. It’s likely a global phenomenon, ironically affecting developed nations more severely as their residents spend far less time outside in the sun and tend to use sunscreens to prevent skin cancer.

The vitamin D deficiency crisis may be causing elevated rates of depression, autism, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and a variety of other chronic health problems in developed nations. Vitamin D3 supplements are now recommended for most people as few get enough vitamin D from diet and sun exposure. Suggestions that adults be taking 2000 IU to 5000 IU per day are now commonplace. Recent recommendations are running up to 10,000 IU per day as a daily adult upper intake limit in some studies. Recommended intake for children is increasing, also, but depends upon the age and size of the child. With vitamin D3 recommended doses growing for both adults and children, it is good to see improved vitamin D3 products such as softgels, gummy vitamins, and liquid vitamin drinks for conveniently getting necessary vitamin D at costs as low as a penny or two per day.

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Finding Your Optimum Vitamin D3 Intake

In our recent article Adjusting Your Vitamin D Intake to Optimal Levels, we explained where you can obtain vitamin D blood tests at reasonable cost and a procedure to follow that in about 3 months of time will allow you to be taking approximately the right dosage of vitamin D to meet your needs. This procedure is based upon vitamin D deficiencies being very common and vitamin D toxicity being very rare. The brief version is that you load up with vitamin D3 at 10,000 IU per day (which researchers have found to be the realistic upper daily intake level for long-term use) for a week, followed by a consistent dosage of vitamin D3 around 5000 IU per day for 60 days, then take a vitamin D blood test known as the 25(OH)D test to determine approximately how much vitamin D is in your blood. After the simple calculations we explained in the article, you get an estimate of the amount of vitamin D3 you need per day and proceed to take that amount. Then retest after about 6 months to double check that you’ve got the right amount and adjust if necessary.

New Vitamin D3 Supplements Provide High Doses

Until recently, it was cumbersome for people who don’t like to take a lot of pills per day to be taking high doses of vitamin D3 because many products provided only 400 IU to 1000 IU of vitamin D per capsule or tablet. That is changing rapidly now that the word of high-dosage vitamin D3 supplementation has spread and affected the products being released by dietary supplement manufacturers.

Costco Kirkland Signature Vitamin D3 2000 IU Softgels

Costco has recently introduced its Kirkland Signature Vitamin D3 product. With 600 softgels of 2000 IU each for $13.99 per container, this is a very good product offering in terms of price, quality, and convenience. Softgels are often easier for many people to swallow than the typical chalky feeling vitamin D3 tablets. The soybean oil used to dissolve the vitamin D3 in the softgel will help improve absorption in the digestive system. The price per 1000 IU of this product works out to about 1.17 US cents before taxes and shipping. If a person uses 2000 IU per day for a year, on the lower end of recommendations for most adults for vitamin D3 and on the upper end for children around age 12, that works out to an annual cost of about $8.51 before taxes and shipping. The new product is already commonly available at most Costco stores, so you can avoid shipping charges.

Puritan’s Pride Vitamin D3 5000 IU Softgels

Puritan’s Pride has also introduced a new softgel vitamin D3 5000 IU product. Their version has 100 softgels of 5000 IU each and is priced during their “buy 1 get 2 free” sale at $13.99 for three bottles. That works out to 0.93 US cents per 1000 IU before taxes and shipping. 5000 IU per day is probably too much for most children, but could be ideal for many adults. Assuming a person takes one softgel per day, the annual cost would work out to about $17.02 per year.

Traditional Vitamin D3 Tablets

If you have soy allergies or other reasons not to use softgels containing soybean oil, traditional vitamin D3 tablets and capsules are a good option at a reasonable price.

Puritan’s Pride continues to sell one of the better valued traditional tablet Vitamin D3 supplements, their Vitamin D3 2000 IU tablets with 200 per bottle, for $19.99 for 3 bottles during their “buy 1 get 2 free” sale. Compared to the Costco and Puritan’s Pride softgels mentioned above, this works out to 1.67 US cents per 1000 IU of vitamin D3.

Swanson Health Products offers a similar Vitamin D3 2000 IU tablet with 250 per bottle for $6.39 before taxes and shipping. That works out to 1.28 US cents per 1000 IU, an even better price than Puritan’s Pride.

Vitamin D3 Products for Children

Some adults and many children often can’t or won’t swallow tablets or capsules, but they still need vitamin D supplements. A couple of interesting options that Costco is now selling include a vitamin D3 liquid product and “gummy vitamin” style vitamin D3 supplements with or without calcium. Some of these are available in certain stores, but for many customers they must be ordered on Costco’s website and shipped to the customer. Here are links to the products:

Vitamin D3 Plus Fish Oil for Kids

Finally, Purity Products has updated their I.Q. Essentials: Children’s Omega 3 Fish Oil adding 1000 IU of vitamin D3 per serving. The product uses 5 very small chewable orange-flavored softgels per serving containing 130mg of EPA and 230mg of DHA, a little more than the omega 3 content in many single large fish oil softgels for adults. DHA is essential for brain and nerve development in children, and vitamin D is also suspected to be important for children’s development to prevent autism, multiple sclerosis, and other health problems.

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Further Reading

Adjusting Your Vitamin D Intake to Optimal Levels

Vitamin D Supplementation: Helpful or Hazardous?

Nutritional Problems May Lead to Higher Risk of Autism

Risk assessment for vitamin D

Vitamin D and Mental Illness

American Academy of Pediatrics: Vitamin D Deficiency Clinical Report

Pregnancy & Babies: Vitamin D

The Bioavailability of Vitamin D from Fortified Cheeses and Supplements Is Equivalent in Adults

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned in this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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