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Apr 30, 2021
5 min read

Everything you need to know about vitamin D gummies

Vitamin D gummies are an effective way to raise vitamin D levels. Some research has found gummies are more easily absorbed than traditional tablets.

linnea zielinski

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD

Written by Linnea Zielinski

Disclaimer

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Great tasting fruit flavors and vitamins? If you’ve had a vitamin D gummy, you might be wondering if it’s a treat or a supplement that actually works.

Vitamin D gummies are effective supplements that can increase blood levels of this essential vitamin. One study found that gummies were absorbed more easily than vitamin D in tablet form (Wagner, 2019). 

There’s a lot that can impact how well your body uses a supplement, including what it’s made of and what’s in your stomach when you take it. Here’s what you need to know about vitamin D gummies and how these compare to other supplements.

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Things to consider when buying vitamin D gummies

If you have dietary concerns, check the ingredients before buying. A lot of vitamin D gummies contain things like corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. 

If you’re vegan, you may need to check that the brand you’re looking to buy doesn’t use gelatin in its formula. You may also need to check the product information to see if the formula is gluten-free or at risk of contamination because of the manufacturing process.

As much as you may want to, you should avoid taking more than the recommended serving of vitamin D gummies (generally one adult gummy per day). Vitamin D toxicity is rare since our bodies naturally regulate how much vitamin D we make from the sun. It isn’t easy to consume too much vitamin D from food, but it can happen through supplements (Chauhaun, 2020).

Eating too many vitamin D gummies once won’t kill you. The only way to get vitamin D toxicity is to take extremely high doses of supplements for extended periods. The biggest risk of too much vitamin D is high calcium levels, which can cause confusion, constipation, excessive thirst, and excessive urination (Chauhaun, 2020).

Why vitamin D is so important

Most people know that vitamin D supports bone health, but it does much more.

Vitamin D is a group of hormones that work together to maintain essential bodily functions, like keeping your heart healthy and supporting the immune system..

This vitamin gets its bone-boosting reputation because it helps your intestines absorb calcium. Not getting enough can cause rickets in children and bone softening in adults, leading to fractures (Chauhan, 2020).

It also helps the body absorb phosphate and magnesium from food–– both of which are minerals vital for many fundamental operations in the body. Magnesium alone is involved in over 600 chemical reactions in the body and does big jobs like keeping your heartbeat steady and regulating blood pressure (Baaij, 2015).

It may also play a role in mood. One study found that patients who took vitamin D supplements reported improvements in depression symptoms (Jorde, 2008). Its connection to anxiety and depression is also why you may have seen vitamin D lamps marketed to naturally boost your mood.

Not getting enough vitamin D can cause a lot of problems. Vitamin D deficiency can cause fatigue, increase your risk of heart disease, and may even contribute to visceral fat (the dangerous kind that wraps around your organs) (Rafiq, 2018).

Although research is limited, studies suggest that vitamin D deficiencies may contribute to premature hair loss in men and how severe hair loss is in women (Sanke, 2020).

Ways to boost your vitamin D levels

Vitamin D supplements aren’t necessary for everyone. If you have a diet high in vitamin D or foods with added vitamin D, you may be getting enough. Oily fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods—such as orange juice, milk, and milk substitutes—are all foods high in vitamin D.

Supplements may be the easiest way to avoid a deficiency, especially if you live in parts of the United States that get less sunlight. Get your blood levels tested and talk to a healthcare professional about any supplements you plan to take. There’s no need to supplement if your vitamin D levels are normal.

There are all different types of vitamin D supplements you can take, but whether they help or not depends on how consistently you take your supplements. 

Cost is another factor to consider when choosing a supplement. Vitamin D gummies cost significantly more than those in tablet form. Vitamin D tablets cost as little as 3 cents per pill, while gummies can cost up to 19 cents each. The cost difference may be worth it to you if you have difficulty swallowing tablets or enjoy the chewable form.

You may see two forms of vitamin D on supplement labels: vitamin D2 and D3. Many D3 supplements are made by exposing lanolin from sheep’s wool to UVB rays, so they’re not vegan-friendly (Holick, 2007). 

Vitamin D3 is more effective at raising our blood levels of this vitamin, but both forms are well absorbed by the body and can be used effectively (Tripkovic, 2012). As long as you’re taking your supplement consistently, there’s no need to worry about taking D2 due to dietary restrictions.

Relying on sunlight isn’t a good way to boost your vitamin D. Many parts of the United States don’t get the sunlight necessary to keep your levels high enough, and there are serious risks to this method like skin cancer. We can’t make our own vitamin D if we’re wearing sunscreen, and, simply put, there’s no safe amount of sun exposure without sunscreen protection.

References

  1. Anderson, J.L., May, H.T., Horne, B.D., et al. Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population. The American Journal of Cardiology, 106(7), 963-968. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.05.027. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20854958/
  2. Baaij, J. H., Hoenderop, J. G., & Bindels, R. J. (2015). Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease. Physiological Reviews, 95(1), 1-6. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00012.2014. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540137
  3. Banihashemi, M., Nahidi, Y., Meibodi, N.T., Jarahi, L., Dolatkhah, M. Serum Vitamin D3 Level in Patients with Female Pattern Hair Loss. International Journal of Trichology, 8(3), 116-120. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.188965. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5007917/
  4. Chauhaun, K., Shahrokhi, M., & Huecker, M. R. (2020). Vitamin D. StatPearls Publishing. Treasure Island, FL. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441912/
  5. Holick, M.F. Vitamin D deficiency. The New England Journal of Medicine, 357(3), 266-281. doi:10.1056/NEJMra070553. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17634462/
  6. Nowak, A., Boesch, L., Andres, E., et al. Effect of vitamin D3 on self-perceived fatigue: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Medicine, 95(52). doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000005353. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5207540/
  7. Rafiq, R., Walschot, F., Lips, P., Lamb, H., de Roos, A., Rosendaal, F., … de Mutsert, R. (2018). Larger waistlines are linked to higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. European Society of Endocrinology. Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/esoe-lwa051718.php
  8. Sanke, S., Samudrala, S., Yadav, A., Chander, R., & Goyal, R. (2020). Study of serum vitamin d levels in men with premature androgenetic alopecia. International Journal of Dermatology, 59(9), 1113-1116. doi:10.1111/ijd.14982. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijd.14982
  9. Tripkovic, L., Lambert, H., Hart, K., et al. Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(6), 1357-1364. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.031070. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22552031/
  10. Wagner, C.L., Shary, J.R., Nietert, P.J., Wahlquist, A.E., Ebeling, M.D., Hollis, B.W. Bioequivalence Studies of Vitamin D Gummies and Tablets in Healthy Adults: Results of a Cross-Over Study. Nutrients, 11(5), 1023. Published 2019 May 7. doi:10.3390/nu11051023. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566230/