But supplements are almost always necessary to get our vitamin D levels up high enough to reap the many health benefits. Why?
Most of us spend too little time outdoors without sunscreen
Most of us are in a geographic location where we can only make vitamin D during the summer months
The good news is that these supplements are becoming more readily available. But only one kind is considered natural.
There are two different types of vitamin D available in supplement form – vitamin D2 (also known as ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol).
Vitamin D2 is the type you'll find in most multivitamins, prescriptions, most supplements, and vitamin D fortified foods. It is a patented drug that behaves like vitamin D, but it is not natural. It has been responsible for the vast majority of toxicity reports on vitamin D and should be avoided.
Along with increased risk of toxicity, it has been found to be less than half as effective as natural vitamin D3. It is also suspected of blocking some vitamin D health benefits.
Vitamin D3 is the naturally occurring form of vitamin D in your body and the one you should choose when supplementing.
The best kind is to buy is dry or in coconut oil. This is because most vitamin D supplements contain oils as stabilizers that are either unhealthy and/or have gone rancid.
You'll also want to make sure that your supplement provides a high enough vitamin D dosage to be effective. For most of us, that will be pills that are in 5,000 IU increments.
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