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Vitamin D must not be lacking in the human body, yet many Germans suffer from a deficiency. If you also have too little vitamin D in your body due to too little sunlight, then you can find out in this article how you can avoid this or compensate for a deficiency. With our vitamin D tablets 2021 we want to help you find the perfect preparation for you. In this guide, we have compared several types of vitamin D tablets and listed their advantages and disadvantages. This will make your search much easier.




The most important facts

  • Vitamin D tablets make it much easier and more convenient to keep your vitamin D levels in an optimal range. Only through sun exposure and food is it a little more difficult to control.
  • Vitamin D strengthens your immune system and also your bones. The vitamin has a large and important role in calcium and phosphate balance.
  • A deficiency of vitamin D can have serious consequences. Especially for older people it can be very dangerous.

The Best Vitamin D Tablets: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for vitamin D tablets

When buying vitamin D tablets, you can look at various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.

Dosage

The correct dosage cannot be determined for everyone, it is different for everyone. It also depends on how much time you spend outdoors and where you live. The amount of sunlight varies from place to place. Vitamin D poisoning is not possible through sunbathing alone; poisoning is only possible through oral intake. However, it is recommended not to exceed the daily amount of 800-1000 i.U. vitamin D tablets.

However, it is advisable to get weaker doses so that you can adjust the dose better to your needs. If you want to know exactly, you should consult a doctor before taking vitamin D tablets and discuss this with him (6). One thing is certain: you should not take more than 4000 i.U. of vitamin D per day. This includes sunbathing and food.

Allergens

The number of people who have food intolerances is increasing. Some of them are allergic to certain ingredients. We have listed the best-known intolerable substances here:

  • Lactose
  • Fructose
  • Gluten

If you have an intolerance to something, taking it can lead to abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhoea or stomach problems. Currently, most products are offered without any allergens. However, you should always read the ingredients carefully before buying. When buying products that you already know and buy often, you should still check occasionally to see if anything has changed. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to change their formulas.

Additives

It is important to make sure that the preparation contains as few additives as possible, or none at all. These are usually substances that are not normally consumed with food. Sensitive persons, allergy sufferers and also children should pay particular attention to the fact that no additives are contained.

Such additives are usually only used for technological purposes, for example in production. For some people, these substances can cause pseudoallergic reactions. These are the additives in question:

  • Thickening and gelling agents
  • Converting agents and colourings
  • Flavour enhancers and acidifiers
  • Magnesium stearate

Here you should research them again on the internet, because the additives are not always listed with their name. They may also have other names or be listed with their E-number.

Shelf life

Whenever you buy something to eat, you should always check the best-before date. This date indicates how long the effect of the preparation is guaranteed. We therefore recommend that you adjust the size of the pack to the expiry date and your required dose so that you can avoid negative side effects. After the expiry date, the risk of side effects is increased. Before buying, you should therefore always estimate whether the time until expiry is sufficient to use up the pack. If you do not manage to use it up by the expiry date, you should definitely dispose of the expired product and stop taking it. Such self-experimentation can cause serious damage to your body.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about vitamin D tablets answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of vitamin D tablets and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What are vitamin D tablets and how do they work?

Vitamin D belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins (2). As a rule, a vitamin is not produced by the body itself, which is why, strictly speaking, the name would be wrong. The vitamin is produced by the body itself with the help of sunlight. UV-B radiation first produces the precursor of vitamin D, the so-called previtamin D3. Through the bloodstream, this reaches the liver and kidneys and is then converted into the biologically active vitamin D.

Vitamin D has many valuable and important functions in our body, and we have listed some of them below:

  • Immune system: maturation and differentiation of defence cells
  • Musculature: Calcium supply
  • Bones & teeth: incorporation of calcium
  • Hormone system: secretion of thyroid hormones, parathyroid hormones, insulin
  • Intestine: calcium and phosphate absorption from food

As can be seen here, vitamin D has very many and different functions (1). This is exactly why it is important to keep the vitamin level in a healthy range.

How does vitamin D deficiency manifest itself?

A full 80 per cent of our daily vitamin D requirement is simply absorbed through sunlight and the remaining 20 per cent through our food. Vitamin D is mainly found in fish and food, which is why vegans and vegetarians are most affected by vitamin D deficiency.

vitamin-d-tabletten-test

Vitamin D tablets are usually small, round and white pills. Because the pills are so small, taking them shouldn't be much of a problem. (Image source: Brett Jordan / Unsplash)

But even people with a balanced diet can be affected by a deficiency. In this section, you will learn about the symptoms and the effects on health. The easiest and clearest way to detect a deficiency is to consult a doctor. He can quickly determine whether your level is below 10 nanograms per millilitre, and if this is the case, there is clearly a deficiency. In Germany, most people are even affected by a deficiency. According to the Robert Koch Institute, about 60 percent of Germans are affected by a slight deficiency. A vitamin D deficiency usually occurs in winter. Symptoms and signs of a low vitamin D level could be:

  • Fatigue
  • Listlessness
  • generally not in a good mood
  • Hair loss
  • increased susceptibility to infections

Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to muscle weakness and bone pain and even bone deformities (3), as one of the main roles of this vitamin, is to keep bone health on its toes.

When and for whom is it useful to take vitamin D tablets?

Vitamin D tablets are particularly useful if you belong to a risk group. The risk group includes older people over the age of 65, people who have dark skin and people who are seldom under the sun or only go out very covered. The older you get, the more your own production decreases. It decreases more in men than in women. Why this is so has not yet been medically proven. One theory could be that women have less fat than men. In dark-skinned people, the UV-B rays are more strongly blocked by the increased melanin content, so less can penetrate and thus less vitamin D is produced.

How much do vitamin D tablets products cost?

The price range for vitamin D tablets is small, but there are still slightly different prices. The dosage, quality, ingredients and the many different manufacturers play an important role in the price. The prices of vitamin D tablets can vary from about 4 to 25 euros.

Type price range
500 I.E., 100 pcs circa 4 to 8 euros
1000 I.E., 200 pcs circa 10 to 14 euros
10.000 I.E., 200 pcs circa 13 to 18 euros
20.000 I.E., circa 15 to 25 euros

There are many manufacturers of vitamin D tablets who charge very slightly different prices. Of course, it also depends on the amount and strength.

Which vitamin D value corresponds to the standard value?

The normal value of vitamin D is considered optimal when it is between 40 and 80 ng/ml (9). People older than 60 should have at least 30 ng/ml in their blood. It is important to keep the vitamin D level in the optimal range. This can help to avoid various health risks.

vitamin-d-tabletten-test

Quite a few people in Germany suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. In winter, the number increases even more, as we generally have few sunny days. The human body absorbs most of its vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. (Image source: John McArthur / Unsplash)

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to the risk of hip joint and femoral neck fractures. Especially for women over the age of 60. A deficiency leads to a mineralisation disorder of the bones. Too little calcium is incorporated and the bone mass is reduced. A vitamin D deficiency has a negative effect on bone density and bone quality.

What are the alternatives to vitamin D tablets?

If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you don't have to take vitamin D tablets right away. You can first see if you can compensate for the deficiency with more sunlight or with the right diet (4). On summer days, it is sufficient to be under the sun three to four times a week for about 15 to 30 minutes. If your arms, hands and face are in contact with the sun's rays, this is enough for your body to produce vitamin D (10). However, it is important that the skin is not covered with sunscreen, because then the UVB radiation cannot be absorbed and converted (8).

vitamin-d-tabletten-test

Herrings are among the fish with the highest vitamin D content. Fatty fish in particular usually have a lot of vitamin D in them. Salmon and mackerel are also among them. (Image source: Aliyah Jamous / Unsplash)

People who have a very light skin type usually get sunburn very quickly, which can be problematic. In cold and cloudy periods, people have a vitamin D depot in their fatty tissue, which helps to have enough vitamin D in the body over the winter. If you try to take in a lot of vitamin D through your diet, fatty fish, for example, are particularly suitable (5). Eel, herring or salmon have a high vitamin D content. Chicken eggs and mushrooms also contain vitamin D. If you eat a vegan diet, it is much more difficult to cover your daily needs with food. Fruit and vegetables mainly contain only a small amount of the vitamin. It is also important to know that you can usually only cover 10 to 20 percent of your vitamin D needs with food. So if you have a deficiency, you will most likely have to take vitamin D tablets.

Are vitamin D tablets harmful?

Vitamin D tablets are usually only harmful if you take too much. However, this is not so easy to achieve. An acute or chronic overdose only occurs if you take 200 times the recommended daily dose over a longer period of time (several months) (7). Symptoms that would follow in this case would be headaches and stomach aches, nausea and even vomiting, fatigue, constipation and in the worst case even kidney calcification and kidney stones up to a decrease in kidney function. You should always keep in mind that an overdose only becomes noticeable gradually. Vitamin D is stored in the body for a long time and gradually adds up. Serious damage to health occurs especially with very high doses of preparations from the internet.

Image: r8loDv_Ap2g/ unsplash.com

References (10)

1. Haines ST, Park SK. Vitamin D supplementation: what's known, what to do, and what's needed. Pharmacotherapy. 2012 Apr;32(4):354-82. doi: 10.1002/phar.1037. PMID: 22461123.
Source

2. Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, Baggerly CA, French CB, Aliano JL, Bhattoa HP. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 2;12(4):988. doi: 10.3390/nu12040988. PMID: 32252338; PMCID: PMC7231123.
Source

3. Amrein, K., Scherkl, M., Hoffmann, M., Neuwersch-Sommeregger, S., Köstenberger, M., Tmava Berisha, A., Martucci, G., Pilz, S., & Malle, O. (2020). Vitamin D deficiency 2.0: an update on the current status worldwide. European journal of clinical nutrition, 74(11), 1498–1513. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-0558-y
Source

4. Holick M. F. (2012). Evidence-based D-bate on health benefits of vitamin D revisited. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(2), 183–190. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.20015
Source

5. Aranow C. (2011). Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, 59(6), 881–886. https://doi.org/10.2310/JIM.0b013e31821b8755
Source

6. Grant WB, Holick MF. Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):94-111. PMID: 15989379.
Source

7. Wimalawansa SJ, Razzaque MS, Al-Daghri NM. Calcium and vitamin D in human health: Hype or real? J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 Jun;180:4-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.12.009. Epub 2017 Dec 16. PMID: 29258769.
Source

8. Chiang CM, Ismaeel A, Griffis RB, Weems S. Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Strength in Athletes: A Systematic Review. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):566-574. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001518. PMID: 27379960.
Source

9. Davies, J. S., & Poole, C. D. (2014). Vitamin D: too much of a good thing?. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 64(618), 8–9. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp14X676276
Source

10. Hattangdi-Haridas SR, Lanham-New SA, Wong WHS, Ho MHK, Darling AL. Vitamin D Deficiency and Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Disease Severity in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Adults and Children. Nutrients. 2019 Aug 9;11(8):1854. doi: 10.3390/nu11081854. PMID: 31405041; PMCID: PMC6722944.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
Haines ST, Park SK. Vitamin D supplementation: what's known, what to do, and what's needed. Pharmacotherapy. 2012 Apr;32(4):354-82. doi: 10.1002/phar.1037. PMID: 22461123.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, Baggerly CA, French CB, Aliano JL, Bhattoa HP. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 2;12(4):988. doi: 10.3390/nu12040988. PMID: 32252338; PMCID: PMC7231123.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Amrein, K., Scherkl, M., Hoffmann, M., Neuwersch-Sommeregger, S., Köstenberger, M., Tmava Berisha, A., Martucci, G., Pilz, S., & Malle, O. (2020). Vitamin D deficiency 2.0: an update on the current status worldwide. European journal of clinical nutrition, 74(11), 1498–1513. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-0558-y
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Holick M. F. (2012). Evidence-based D-bate on health benefits of vitamin D revisited. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(2), 183–190. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.20015
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Aranow C. (2011). Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, 59(6), 881–886. https://doi.org/10.2310/JIM.0b013e31821b8755
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Grant WB, Holick MF. Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):94-111. PMID: 15989379.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Wimalawansa SJ, Razzaque MS, Al-Daghri NM. Calcium and vitamin D in human health: Hype or real? J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 Jun;180:4-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.12.009. Epub 2017 Dec 16. PMID: 29258769.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Chiang CM, Ismaeel A, Griffis RB, Weems S. Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Strength in Athletes: A Systematic Review. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):566-574. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001518. PMID: 27379960.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Davies, J. S., & Poole, C. D. (2014). Vitamin D: too much of a good thing?. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 64(618), 8–9. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp14X676276
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Hattangdi-Haridas SR, Lanham-New SA, Wong WHS, Ho MHK, Darling AL. Vitamin D Deficiency and Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Disease Severity in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Adults and Children. Nutrients. 2019 Aug 9;11(8):1854. doi: 10.3390/nu11081854. PMID: 31405041; PMCID: PMC6722944.
Go to source
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