This post may include affiliate links. See our affiliate policy for more details.
In general, we prefer liquid vitamins over pills, and that includes liquid vitamin D. When you take liquid vitamin D or any liquid vitamin, it is more easily absorbed by your body, especially if you have digestive issues. You can also modify the dose more easily. Sometimes pill vitamins don’t break apart, and then the ingredients aren’t fully released. We put together a list of the best liquid vitamin D supplements of 2020.
- Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients, and many of us are deficient
- Vitamin D plays a role in cardiovascular health and immune function
- There’s growing evidence that vitamin D may play a role in reducing the severity of viral illnesses
- Vitamin D can improve mental health and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Having adequate vitamin D levels can promote weight loss
What Are the Best Liquid Vitamin D Supplements?
The following are our selections for the best liquid vitamin D supplements of 2020.
- Vitamin D as cholecalciferol
- High-potency drops
- 900 drops per bottle
- Each dose is 2000 IU
- Only need one drop by mouth daily
- Seeking Health is one of the top supplement companies, and they use only high-quality ingredients, and each product meets strict manufacturing standards
- Made with pure olive oil
- Free from artificial fillers, preservatives, flavors, or flow agents
- Formulated by Dr. Ben Lynch, author of Dirty Genes
- Highly rated by users
- Contains D3, which is preferred for healthy bones
- Each dose provides 50 mcg of D3
- D3 as cholecalciferol
- All Carlson products are tested in an FDA-registered lab
- According to reviews, these liquid vitamin D drops raise levels quickly as shown in lab work
- Some reviews say these helped with fertility issues
- Natural form of cholecalciferol, which is the most absorbable and usable form of vitamin D
- No dairy, gluten, or hexane
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Supports mood, immune system function, and bone health
- No taste, so it’s easy to take
- 1000 IU vitamin D3
- Easily absorbed and digested
- No fillers, binders, or other ingredients that interfere with absorption
- 1000 IU of D3 and 25 mcg of K3 in one serving
- Comes in a black bottle that blocks UV light to ensure effectiveness
- Vitamin D3 and K2 are important for the release of serotonin
- May improve cognitive function
- Vitamins D3 and K2 work together synergistically with one another
- 2000 IU of vitamin D3 per 1 mL
- Emulsified for maximum bioavailability
- Each serving contains 250 mcg of vitamin K1 and 25 mcg of K2
- Reviews say it provides noticeable boosts in energy
- May help improve mood
Quicksilver Scientific Nanoemulsified D3 and K2
- Nanoemulsified formula makes both the D3 and K3 highly absorbable
- Contains a bioactive form of vitamin K2 called MK-7
- Each 0.5 mL has 2500 IU of D3 and 90 mc of K2
- Each bottle contains 100 servings
- Made with small liposomes that can pass between cells and start absorbing as soon as you take them
- No gluten
- Vitamin D benefits are enhanced with the addition of K2
- Each drop contains 1400 IU of vitamin D3 and 25 mcg of Vitamin K as MK-7
- The base is MCT oil which can help boost energy and metabolism levels
- No gluten, sugar, yeast, milk, salt, or yeast
- Comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee
What Is Vitamin D?
Taking a liquid vitamin D supplement can be one of the most important things you do for your health. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our body starts to produce it with sun exposure.
There are many reasons you might have trouble getting enough vitamin D, however, which is why you might consider a liquid vitamin D supplement.
For example, if you live in a colder climate, you might not get a lot of vitamin D. In the winter in general, you may spend more time indoors, therefore getting less sun exposure.
Over the past few decades, the number of Americans with vitamin D deficiencies has also gone up significantly.
For example, in the early 1990s, an estimated 60% of U.S. adults got enough vitamin D. In the early 200s, that was down to only 30%.
African Americans are especially at risk for vitamin D deficiency and should consider a vitamin D liquid or another type of supplement.
The number of African Americans that may be vitamin D deficient could be as high as 76%, according to a study from The Cooper Institute.
People with darker skin pigmentation are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency because melanin reduces how much vitamin D your body can produce.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
Before you start taking vitamin D in liquid form, it’s important to know how much you need.
Adults need 600 international units or IU of vitamin D every day. If you’re over the age of 70, you should get 800 IU daily.
This can come from sunlight, the food you eat, or supplements like liquid vitamin D.
Foods that contain vitamin D include mushrooms, fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks. The issue with trying to get adequate vitamin D from diet alone is that there’s not a lot in food and it can be tough to get enough.
Who Needs a Vitamin D Supplement?
If you’re considering a liquid vitamin D supplement, you might be vegan for example. Vegans tend to have low vitamin D levels because they don’t eat the foods that are highest in the nutrient such as fish, meat, and egg yolks. There was a study published in 2016 that found vitamin D serum concentration levels were around 34% lower in study participants who were vegan compared to those who ate dairy and meat.
People who are obese may also benefit from a liquid vitamin D supplement. Research has found that obese people are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D because of lower dietary intake and less sun exposure. It may also be more difficult to absorb vitamin D for people who have had gastric bypass or bariatric surgeries. One study, in particular, indicated vitamin D recommendations should be based on body weight.
Older people might consider a vitamin D liquid supplement because they may get less from their food or the sun, and synthesizing the vitamin D they do receive is more difficult the older we are.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
How do you know you’re vitamin D deficient and should consider liquid vitamin D? You can have your health care provider do a blood test, but there are some symptoms that may occur as well.
- Joint or bone pain
- Muscle pain
- Low mood
- Low energy
- Frequent illnesses
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
People who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency include:
- Breastfeed infants—when you’re breastfeeding, you should give your baby a vitamin D supplement each day.
- Older adults because your skin isn’t as effective at making vitamin D when exposed to the sun as when you’re young, and your kidneys aren’t as efficient at converting vitamin D to its active form.
- People with dark skin.
- People with health conditions like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease who don’t handle fat properly, which impairs their ability to absorb vitamin D.
- People with obesity because their body fat binds to vitamin D, preventing it from making its way to their blood.
- People who’ve undergone gastric bypass procedures.
- Individuals with osteoporosis.
- People with chronic liver or kidney disease.
- People with hyperparathyroidism.
- Individuals with granulomatous diseases such as sarcoidosis or histoplasmosis.
- People who take medicines that interfere with their body’s metabolism of vitamin D, such as cholestyramine, which is a cholesterol drug, glucocorticoids, HIV/AIDS medicines, antifungals and anti-seizure drugs.
The health effects of a vitamin D deficiency can be devastating, and we’re learning more every year about just how important this nutrient is to our overall health.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures and osteoporosis.
Severe vitamin D deficiency is also associated with rickets in children and osteomalacia in older adults, which can cause muscle weakness, bone pain and weak bones.
Other diseases linked to low levels of vitamin D include high blood pressure, autoimmune conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin D?
There are numerous health benefits of taking a liquid vitamin D supplement.
For example, vitamin D has been found to fight diseases.
Vitamin D may reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis and lower your chances of developing heart disease. Having sufficient vitamin D can help you fight the flu and other viral illnesses.
Taking a liquid vitamin D supplement can reduce symptoms of depression and boost your mood. In people with fibromyalgia, vitamin D deficiency was more common in people experiencing depression and anxiety.
If you’re trying to lose weight, think about taking a liquid vitamin D supplement because research has found that it helps. Researchers found that study participants who took a vitamin D supplement, as well as calcium each day, lost more weight than participants who took a placebo. Additionally, vitamin D may help suppress your appetite.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
If you’re going to supplement with liquid vitamin D, you should pay attention to the dosages and instructions for taking it. You don’t want to take too much vitamin D because it can lead to toxicity, although this is very rare.
Vitamin D toxicity can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
Excess levels of vitamin D can also lead to kidney damage.
However, recent research has shown that we may need more vitamin D than once was though.
Vitamin D recommended dosages are based on international units or IUs.
An average daily intake of anywhere from 400 to 800 IU a day is sufficient for nearly 97% of people.
However, if you don’t get a lot of sun exposure, you may need more. There was one study that found adults could need anywhere from 1120 to 1680 IU to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood. The same study found that people with vitamin D deficiency needed 5000 IU to reach blood levels that put them above 30 ng/ml.
Studies have found that postmenopausal women with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml needed anywhere from 800 to 2000 to reach levels above that.
If you’re overweight or obese, you may also need more vitamin D.
Overall, you can likely take anywhere from 1000 to 4000 IU of vitamin D a day, and the Institute of Medicine says 4000 IU is the safe upper limit. Of course, always consult your health care professional about this.
Is Liquid Vitamin D Better Than a Pill?
This list of the best vitamin D supplements specifically focuses on liquid vitamin D.
There are significant benefits that can come with taking liquid vitamin D versus a pill, and in general, there are a lot of advantages of liquid vitamins.
If you were to take a pill instead of vitamin D liquid, there is a concern that the outer structure might not fully break, which means that your body wouldn’t absorb the nutrients.
There was a study done by ConsumerLab, and researchers looked at capsules as well as tablets. Thirty minutes is the ideal breaking time, but in that study, some of the multivitamins didn’t break apart within that window. Some didn’t break even after another hour.
The barrier of a pill or capsule can interfere with your ability to absorb what’s in it.
A liquid vitamin D supplement eliminates that problem altogether.
As soon as you take the liquid, it starts to be absorbed.
Again, the rate that your body can absorb a supplement or vitamin depends on its structure.
A lot of the vitamins you take may go to waste. For example, pill absorption rates usually only average anywhere from 3 to 20%. However, with a liquid vitamin, you may get an absorption rate as high as 98%.
Pills and other types of vitamins take a long time to be absorbed because your stomach first has to digest the outer shell. Your digestive system has to work harder.
The exception here where you would want it to take longer for your body to digest a supplement would be if you were to take a time-released supplement like melatonin or with a probiotic where you want the ingredients in the supplement to remain intact until they reach certain tissues.
One benefit of pills and capsules over liquid supplements and vitamins is that they can have a longer shelf life. With this, however, comes the potential that a supplement could have fillers and stabilizers. When you get a liquid vitamin D supplement, it tends to be purer and there’s a lower risk of anything being added to it.
When you choose a liquid vitamin D, you can tailor the dosage for everyone in the family easily. This can be more cost-effective than having to get different doses for everyone.
How to Choose the Best Liquid Vitamin D for You
If you’re trying to decide how to get the best vitamin D in liquid form, there are some things to keep in mind.
What Type of Vitamin D To Take
There are different types of vitamin D. First, there’s vitamin D3, which is also called cholecalciferol. This is the type of vitamin D made by your skin when you’re exposed to UVB rays. That’s the type of liquid vitamin D supplement you want to take.
Cholecalciferol is also found in foods like egg yolks and fatty fish.
The reason vitamin D3 is ideal for a vitamin D liquid supplement is that it is almost twice as effective at increasing your blood levels of vitamin compared to the other type, which is vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is also known as ergocalciferol.
Choose a Liquid Vitamin D with Vitamin K2
A few of our picks for the best liquid vitamin D supplement also have vitamin K2, and there’s a reason for that.
Vitamin K2 is another fat-soluble vitamin, as is vitamin D. If you get too much of one fat-soluble vitamin and not enough of another, it can be problematic. When you choose a liquid vitamin D supplement that also has K2, they can have a positive synergistic benefit on one another.
In particular, vitamin D and K2 work together to make sure calcium gets to where it needs to go in your body. D gets calcium into your body, then K2 takes over to send it to your bones.
K2 is also helpful for both preventing and treating disorders like osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K2 is also difficult to obtain from diet alone.
Other benefits of K2 include:
- K2 activates many proteins that we need for robust health.
- Vitamin K2 is believed to play a role in the prevention of cancers like lung, liver, colon, and prostate. K2 is thought to prevent cells from growing out of control.
- There’s evidence vitamin K2 can improve insulin sensitivity.
- Having adequate K2 intake can improve testosterone production for men, while a deficiency of the vitamin can be associated with decreased testosterone production.
- Researchers believe vitamin K may help promote brain health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
You can take a vitamin D supplement that’s up to 4,000 IU a day, according to researchers, so consider this when you’re comparing options and choosing the best liquid vitamin D. What’s great about liquid vitamin D is that you can tailor your dose easily to your needs, based on your doctor’s recommendations.
Purity and Potency
Two other factors to think about when choosing the best liquid vitamin D are purity and potency. Softgels often use corn oil or soybean oil as carriers, and they may contain GMOs, which is another factor that tends to make liquid vitamin D the better option.
You’re likely to get more purity and potency with vitamin D liquid.
As has been touched on, you can take liquid vitamin D sublingually, meaning under the tongue. Then, the liquid vitamin D bypasses your digestive system and it’s absorbed through your mucous membranes. That leads to delivery directly to the bloodstream and absorption that can be anywhere from three to ten times higher than absorption of other types of vitamin D supplements.
Vegan Vitamin D
Most vitamin D supplements are derived from animal sources, making them not suited to a vegan diet. We did, however, include vegan liquid vitamin D supplements above.
If you’re vegan and want a vitamin D supplement, you can look for options made from lichen.
Another option is to take vitamin D2 which is vegan-friendly because it comes from mushrooms, yeast, and plant compounds.
Ensuring that you have adequate levels of vitamin D can have a host of health benefits. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of falls, fractures, and osteoporosis. It can help you build strength, and it can reduce your risk of cancer. One study found that 1,100 IU of vitamin D a day plus calcium reduced cancer risk by 60%.
Vitamin D can help manage symptoms of clinical depression, reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes, and may even help you live longer.
A liquid vitamin D supplement can be especially beneficial. Liquid vitamin D tends to be significantly more absorbable than any other type of D supplement. You don’t have to digest the shell of the supplement, and instead, when you take a liquid vitamin D product, it goes directly into your blood.
With a liquid vitamin D, you’re also more likely to get a purer, higher-quality, and more potent product.
A majority of people in the United States are believed to be vitamin D deficient, and the health impact can be severe. Talk to your doctor about whether a vitamin D supplement might be a good option for you.