Vitamin D is an important vitamin in the body as it helps to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels that can help support healthy bone growth and regeneration. There’s a significant amount of research that vitamin D plays a role in our immune system, cardiovascular health, and brain/mood health. While we need vitamin D for a variety of processes in the body, many people do not consume adequate vitamin D through fortified foods and natural sources of foods and have low levels. Low levels of vitamin D promotes bone and teeth issues as well as potential for mood imbalances (hence why you need sun/vitamin D in the winter to ward off winter blues!). Because vitamin D is mostly found in fortified dairy products and fortified non-dairy alternatives like soy milk or almond milk, there are a few (but unreliable) sources of vitamin D – like mushrooms. As a plant-based vegan registered dietitian, I tend to recommend that all of my clients take a vitamin D supplement.
The thing is, most vitamin D supplements contain animal products. They may contain gelatin in the capsule, or the actual Vitamin D may be animal derived. Vitamin D3 is the active (more bioavailable) form of Vitamin D. See, vitamin D comes in Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol – plant-based) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol – generally animal based). In supplements, Vitamin D3 is generally derived from fatty fish or lanolin (the waxy fat in sheep’s wool). However, many vegan vitamin D3 options are available sourced through lichen, which is essentially what the fatty fish are eating before being harvested for their nutrients. So in essence, choosing the vegan lichen sourced vitamin D3 you’re not only being vegan but you’re reducing the overall carbon footprint!
I’ve rounded up the 7 best vegan Vitamin D3 supplements along with 4 additional vegan vitamin D drops. There is no benefit to the capsules or the drops but it’s rather more of a personal preference. For kiddos, older adults, or for those who don’t like taking pills the drops may be a better option. Also, it’s important to remember that Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and should be consumed with a fat source (nuts, seeds, oils, etc) at time of consumption for maximum absorption and bioavailability.
5 Best Vegan Vitamin D Supplements
5. Naturelo Vegan Vitamin D3 – 2500 IU (~300% Daily Value) – Using wild-harvested lichen, Naturelo’s Vegan Vitamin D is a great vegan plant-based alternative to get your vitamin D in. This small capsule has been compressed into a smaller, more manageable size over the last few variations but it’s still not quite as small as Doctor’s Best Vitamin D below. Check out Naturelo Vegan Vitamin D Supplement HERE.
4. Lunaki Vitamin D3 Gummies 1000IU (125% Daily Value) – Many gummies use gelatin (non-vegan) and are not suitable for a vegan lifestyle. However, Lunaki Vitamin D3 Gummies uses a gluten-free, corn syrup free combination of tapioca syrup and cane sugar to create tasty vegan gummies infused with 1000IU of vitamin D3 from lichen. If you have kids or if you’re a kid at heart who wants gummy supplement everything, check out Lunaki Vitamin D3 Gummies HERE today.
3. Garden of Life Chewable Vegan Vitamin D3 – 2000IU (~250% Daily Value) – If you’re looking for a whole food based vegan vitamin D supplement, Garden of Life can be a great option. Made from lichen but additional mushroom blends and an organic food blend, Garden of Life Chewable Vegan Vitamin D3 packs a lot of power in these tasty chewables. There are no added fillers or colors but rather solid, wholesome vitamin D nutrition for your well-being. Check out Garden of Life Chewable Vegan Vitamin D3 HERE.
2. MaryRuth’s Vegan Vitamin D3 1000IU (125% Daily Value) – If you like the idea of a gummy or chewable but want to support a small business, this is a great opportunity. MaryRuth’s is female owned and operated by a health conscious mom and daughter duo. The colorful packaging pulls you in but it’s the committment to quality and clean, healthy ingredients in all supplements that makes this a great find. The gummies are tapioca syrup based and contain 125% vitamin D3 from lichen in each gummy – that’s right – you only need 1 delicious gummy a day! Enjoy MaryRuth’s Vegan Vitamin D3 Gummies HERE.
1. Doctor’s Best Vegan D3 – 2500IU (~300% Daily Value) – Doctor’s Best uses sustainably sourced lichen for their supplement and is registered with the UK Vegan Society. This small, easy to swallow pill can be added into your daily regimen easily. The capsule is made from natural cellulose as well. Find Doctor’s Best Vegan D3 HERE.
3 Best Vegan Vitamin D Supplement Drops
3. Pure Vitamin D and Vitamin K Vegan Drops -5000IU (~625% Daily Value) – There is a considerable amount of research that points at vitamin K supporting the absorption of vitamin D. In that case, this may be a good option for you. However, if you are on a blood thinner like Coumadin, Vitamin K helps clot your blood and supplementing with Vitamin K may not be a good idea unless your doctor is aware and can monitor your clotting times regularly and adjust the dose accordingly. While this is a small group of people potentially, it’s still important to keep in mind. It’s also important to note the high dose of vitamin D in these drops and it would be advisable to consume only 1 or 2 drops instead of the dosage about of 6 drops to avoid consuming too much vitamin D as it is a fat soluable vitamin and poses a higher risk of adverse effects. If you need additional vitamin K with your vitamin D to help absorb, check out Pure Vegan Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K Drops.
2. MaryRuth’s Vegan Liquid Vitamin D3 800IU (100% Daily Value) – Made of simple coconut oil as the facilitator of the vitamin D3 from lichen, this straightforward supplement is easy enough to drop into your mouth daily. It doesn’t have much of a taste, and in fact tastes a bit more like coconut oil than anything else. MaryRuth’s is a woman owned and operated company that you can proudly support – Check out MaryRuth’s Vegan Liquid Vitamin D3 HERE.
1. Nordic Naturals Vegan Liquid Vitamin D3 1000IU (125% Daily Value) – Nordic Naturals is one of the most respected supplement brands out there when it comes to creating high quality vegan and non-vegan supplements – especially when it comes to fat soluble supplements like omegas and Vitamin D. The vegan Vitamin D drops from Nordic Naturals can be found HERE.
There you have it – the best vegan Vitamin D supplements and drops. I’m sure as time goes on and plant-based diets become more and more popular, there will be other vegan Vitamin D options that don’t provide astronomical amounts of Vitamin D (>200% Daily Value if you’re consuming daily) and are good sources and stewards of the environment. Do you use any of these vegan vitamin D options? Or which one do you plan on trying? Comment below with any questions. Remember, it’s important for virtually all people to supplement with vitamin D these days and if you’re following a vegan lifestyle, these are the best options.