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Best Vegan Vitamin D supplements
Review and Buyers Guide
Edited by: Isabel Stewart , Last updated: January 18, 2021
Vitamin D is one of the most crucial vitamins for human health. It plays a huge role in the development and maintenance of bones and is a necessary component for sufficient absorption of calcium.
Our two main ways of obtaining this crucial vitamin are from the sun through our skin or nutritionally from food, but getting enough vitamin d can be tough since most foods don’t have a high percentage of vitamin d.
If you’re not one of the lucky few who can spend their days frolicking in the sun’s rays, it can be a slight struggle to ensure you are getting an optimal dose of daily vitamin d to prevent deficiency no matter whether your a meat-eater or vegan.
Adding a high-quality, plant-based vitamin d supplement to your diet can help optimize your vitamin d levels and provide that healthy boost needed to make sure your diet stays nutritionally balanced.
In this article, we will:
- Provide our top product picks for the best vegan vitamin d3 supplements to help boost your vitamin d levels in a healthy way while maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet.
- Explain exactly why vitamin d is important for vegans,
- and detail what things to look for and avoid when choosing a high-quality vegan vitamin d supplement in our in-depth buyer’s guide.
Best vegan vitamin d supplements at a glance
- Editors Choice: Sports Research Plant-based D3+K2
- Best liquid vegan vitamin d supplement: Pure Vegan Vitamin D3
- Best family-friendly vegan vitamin d supplement: Mary Ruths Vitamin D3+b12 gummies
- Best fruit and vegetable vitamin d formula: NaturePlus Organic Vitamin D3
- Best Vegan Vitamin D supplements
- Best vegan vitamin d supplements at a glance
- Top vegan Vitamin D supplements – (In-Depth Reviews)
- Vegan Vitamin D Buyers Guide
- What are the benefits of vitamin d?
- What are some Excellent plant-based sources of vitamin D for vegans?
- What do we look for in a quality vitamin D supplement?
- Vitamin D2 vs D3 in supplements
- Frequently asked questions
- Want to learn more about Vegan vitamin d?
Top vegan Vitamin D supplements – (In-Depth Reviews)
1. Sports Research Plant-based D3+K2 – Editor’s Choice
The Sports Research Vegan Vitamin D supplement excels due to its 2 in 1 focus combining vitamin d and vitamin k2. Both crucial vitamins that work synergistically at supporting bone and heart health. With a certified-vegan formula, providing 5000 IU vitamin d derived from the plant lichen and 100mcg vitamin k2 per serving, Sports research provides a healthy boost to any plant-based diet.
5000 iu/125 mcg of vegan vitamin D3 is a healthy serving size for adults but may be too high for children. A great alternative so Mary Ruth’s gummy or the Garden of Life chewable would be great alternatives for kids and families.
Sports research delivers 100 mcg vitamin k per serving, helping you to achieve 83% of your recommended daily amount. This is great for healthy blood clotting used in the healing of wounds, healthy bone metabolism and keeping calcium levels in the blood regulated.
Vitamin d and vitamin k2 are fat-soluble nutrients and require fat for optimal absorption. Sports research has taken this into account with their supplement and added coconut oil for better overall absorption allowing you to get the most out of each serving.
Overall, with a carefully selected ingredients list, a balanced vitamin D to K2 formula, a wide range of positive user reviews plus a money-back guarantee, the Sports Research Vegan Vitamin D3 supplement takes our top spot for best vegan vitamin d supplement.
Why we love it
things to be aware of
2. Mary Ruths Vitamin D3+b12 gummies – Best Vegan Vitamin-D for the family
Mary Ruth’s brand of vegan vitamin d supplement is the only gummy out of our top picks, making this a fantastic choice for those who can’t stand taking tablets. They provide a low enough dosage of vitamin d at 1 000 IU per serving to be good enough for the whole family while tasting great at the same time.
The mary ruth brand stands out due to its focus on b12 alongside vitamin-D. Each serving provides 250mcg of natural b12 in the form of methylcobalamin, which is an easy form for the body to absorb. Combining vitamin D and B12 means vegans will get a healthy dose of two very crucial vitamins in one family-friendly supplement.
With a continually high rating from users, clean non-GMO, soy and gelatin free formula, while scoring high on all of our research criteria, Mary Ruth’s vitamin d supplement takes the top spot for vegan vitamin b12 supplement for families.
Why we love it
things to be aware of
3. Pure Vegan Vitamin D3 – Best liquid Vegan vitamin-D supplement
The Pure vitamin d supplement is one of our favorites for a liquid vitamin D supplement due to its balanced focus of vitamin d with k2 and priority on pure ingredients. They provide a high dosage of vitamin d per serving 5000 iu/125mcg, which is good for healthy bones and balancing your mood. The healthy vitamin D serving is complimented with a significantly high dosage of vitamin k2, which supports healthy bone metabolism while keeping calcium levels in the blood regulated.
Pure uses an easily absorbable form of vitamin d3 “vitashine,” which is taken from a plant called lichen. Vitashine is also registered with the vegan society, which adds credibility and confidence to the purchase of this product.
Provides 680mcg of vitamin k2 per serving. Vitamin K2 is good for blood clotting used in the healing of wounds, healthy bone metabolism, and keeping calcium levels in the blood regulated.
With 90 serving per bottle, a high vitamin d/k2 serving per container, and a 100% money-back guarantee, Pure’s brand of vitamin d provides one of the best value for money vitamin d supplements for vegans in a liquid form. The tasteless and odorless liquid form makes this great for throwing into a high vitamin c fruit smoothie to boost absorption.
Overall being a liquid vitamin d supplement that is non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, alcohol-free, and easily absorbed with a strong focus on vitamin k2 makes this our top choice for easily absorbed vegan vitamin d supplement.
Why we love it
things to be aware of
4. NaturePlus Organic Vitamin D3 – Best fruit & vegetable vitamin D formula
Nature’s Plus is our top pick for fruit and vegetable-based vitamin d supplement for vegan adults. With 5000 IU of vitamin d per serving, uniquely derived from mushrooms and a whole food blend created from fruit and veg such as ginger, garlic, broccoli, spirulina, and beetroot, Nature’s Plus provides a high dosage of vitamin d while delivering an additional healthy nutrient base to positively enhance your current diet. The large dosage may not be suitable for the whole family, so a low dosage alternative is the Garden of Life chewable.
Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and contains no unnecessary extras making Nature’s Plus a great hypoallergenic choice for anybody with a sensitive digestive system.
Overall the high wholefood vitamin d per serving coupled with nature’s own unique fruit and vegetable blend providing extra minerals and vitamins that can sometimes be lacking in a typical vegan diet makes this our number one choice for a high strength fruit and vegetable-based vitamin d supplement for adults.
Why we love it
things to be aware of
Vegan Vitamin D Buyers Guide
What are the benefits of vitamin d?
- Regulation of Calcium and phosphate levels in the blood
- Healthy bones
- Supporting the immune system
- May play a role in cancer prevention
- Supports healthy insulin regulation
No matter whether you are vegan or meat-eater, vitamin D is critical to the health of your body, and making sure your body is getting enough is something we all need to understand how to do. Nutrition.org recommends for the majority of people to have a vitamin d tablet since food alone is not usually sufficient especially for those who live in colder climates
For an in-depth breakdown of vitamin D and the best way for vegans to make the most of it, check out our vegan vitamin D nutrition guide.
What are some Excellent plant-based sources of vitamin D for vegans?
- Fortified cereals and fortified milk
- Sunlight 🙂
New data has also come out linking the Solanaceae family of foods (Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) as a potential plant-based vitamin D source . We find it best to incorporate all plant-based foods with vitamin D content to create a balanced diet with mushrooms as your first go-to source and others as secondary sources.
Want to find out more about brilliant vitamin D sources? Check out our 5 best vegan foods high in vitamin d.
What do we look for in a quality vitamin D supplement?
How much vitamin d do you get per serving, and does it meet the RDA?
Pay close attention to the amount of Vitamin D you are getting per serving as many companies will provide much more than the recommended amount. The recommended daily amount is between 600 IUiu -800 IU of vitamin d.
Source of vitamin D
- Most non-vegan vitamin D3 supplements will come from lanolin which is animal-based
- As vegans, we want to avoid this and make sure out vitamin D3 source is from lichen which is blue-green algae (cyanobacteria)
- An alternative vegan source would be a mushroom-based vitamin D supplement. The possible downside to mushrooms as the source is that they primarily contain vitamin D2 with a much smaller amount of vitamin D3.
- If choosing a mushroom-based vitamin D supplement, it may be better to go for the higher strength options (around 800 IU) to make up for vitamin D2’s lower efficiency at raising overall vitamin D levels
Vitamin D Cofactors
Choosing a supplement with cofactors that enhance vitamin d absorption is key to getting all the health benefits that vitamin d can bring, such as healthy bones and the maintenance of your immune system.
Key nutrients that enhance the uptake of vitamin D:
- Vitamin K: Found in green leafy veg (Kale, Spinach, Mustard greens, Parsley) and vegetables such as broccoli cauliflower and brussels sprouts
- Boron: Found in Apples, Dried fruit (prunes, raisins) Seeds & Nuts
- Zinc; Found in Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans) Nuts & Seeds, whole grains
- Magnesium: Found in Spinach, Kale, Nuts & Seeds, legumes, bananas, and raspberries to name a few
- Vitamin A: Found in carrots, sweet potatoes, Squash, Apricots, and Kale
Each of these nutrients allows the body to utilize vitamin D more effectively, so it is essential to look out for these as additional ingredients when trying to choose one product over another.
Remember also that vitamin d requires fat for optimal absorption since its an oil-soluble vitamin. So a vitamin D supplement with oil added to the formula, e.g., coconut oil may provide additional absorption benefits
There are four primary forms of vitamin d supplements: Liquid, drops, capsule, tablet.
The best value for money vitamin d supplements tends to be in tablet form. You can either get sublingual, which dissolves in the mouth or oral, which dissolve in the stomach. Overall slightly slower absorption than a spray or liquid, but you get better value for money with a tablet/lozenges since you get many more servings per bottle.
One thing to take note of is some sublingual supplements can contain added sugar which may potentially cause stomach issues so make sure you’re not sensitive to certain sugars before purchasing
Liquids and sprays are great options for those who want the quickest release of vitamin D into their system. A great benefit of liquids and sprays is the ability to make them taste better with simple ingredients. The other advantage of a liquid or spray over a lozenge is that they have fewer ingredients overall, so you don’t usually have to worry about any unnecessary additives.
The least popular but still effective option is gummies, which are chewable forms of vitamin D very similar to sweets and mainly used for younger adults or children (or for adults with a sweet tooth).
The main downside to a gummy is that they tend to contain pectin, which some people are sensitive to.
*Always make sure there is no gelatin used to form the chewable/gummy*
Yeast, Corn, Soy, and Gluten-free and other additives?
For those with allergies or a sensitive digestive system, you should avoid yeast corn gluten and sometimes soy.
For those with intolerances, we recommend choosing a supplement that is hypoallergenic, which will mean a much lower chance of allergic reactions or digestive issues after consumption.
The best vegan vitamin d supplements will have minimal additives.
What we are looking for is clean ingredients with a small ingredients list. Some companies add extra ingredients to “fill” out their formulas. This is not always beneficial for vegans who want to stick to a strict diet without additional foods that may take up calories in their diet. For anyone looking to keep their body as healthy as possible with minimal digestive issues, a small ingredient list is the way to go.
Vegan label and Non-GMO?
Always lookout for a vegan label on the product to ensure that the supplement is free from animal products. The two main things vegans need to watch out for in the case of animal products are gelatin in the casing of the supplement and the source of vitamin d.
Vitamin d2 is safe for vegans, but vitamin d3 can be taken from animals, mainly from the wool of sheep so check the labeling before purchasing to make sure the vitamin d3 source is vegan friendly.
- How many servings do you get per bottle?
- How much are you being charged per serving, and how much vitamin D are you getting for the price? Always compare serving amounts to the overall cost of the product and other similar products to make sure you are getting the best value for money.
- The second thing to pay attention to is whether the company provides a return or guarantee with the purchase. When a company offers a way for you to return your product if you are not satisfied, it instills confidence in your purchase and the brand.
Vitamin D2 vs D3 in supplements
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): Mainly found in plants especially mushrooms
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): Found predominantly in animals, especially fish and wool-bearing mammals, also found in blue-green algae specifically lichen.
Studies have showcased that vitamin D3 supplementation was better at raising overall vitamin d levels in the blood than vitamin D2 which is why most supplement manufacturers focus on vitamin D3. While alternative research has shown that when taking regular doses of 1000 IU in both vitamin D2 and D3, they were equally as effective.
The general takeaway at this point would be to focus on the form that all studies say works well, which is vitamin D3, and gain your supply of vitamin D2 from plant-based foods.
Vitamin D is required for healthy bones, blood, and nervous system functionality. Everyone is susceptible to vitamin D deficiency since the range of foods with high vitamin D content is limited. As vegans, we have it slightly harder since our range of foods with high vitamin d content is even more limited than meat-eaters. Fortunately, this is easily remedied with the right food choices consisting of mushrooms, blue-green algae, and fortified foods supported with a healthy plant-based D3 supplement. Our top pick for vegan vitamin D supplement is sports research vegan vitamin D3 since it has everything a vegan needs to safely hit their RDA on a plant-based diet..
For a more in-depth look at how to master vitamin D on a plant-based diet, check out our ultimate vegan vitamin D guide.
Frequently asked questions
Want to learn more about Vegan vitamin d?
For a more in-depth look into the Vegan diet and vitamin d check out our ultimate best vegan sources of vitamin-D and the best vegan sources of vitamin-D giving you all the knowledge, food tips, and research you need to help master omega 3’s on a vegan diet.