Fact Checked

How do I Choose the Best Vitamin D Capsules?

S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales

Vitamin D capsules can be very different from vitamin D caplets, tablets, softgels, chewables, powder and liquid supplements. Each form of vitamin D has its advantages and disadvantages, but many people prefer capsules. Their ease of swallowing and ingestion and their ability to be opened are just a few of the reasons why some consumers choose capsules as their vitamin D supplements. To choose the best vitamin D capsules, look for ones that contain the appropriate level of the vitamin, and be sure to check the expiration date on the packaging. If you are a vegetarian, there are specially made capsules you can choose as well.

As a general rule, you should not start supplementing with vitamin D unless you are sure that you are suffering from a deficiency. You can determine your personal vitamin D level status by taking a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, or 25(OH)D test. Research how much vitamin D you need to take to successfully and safely improve your levels. Appropriate levels of vitamin D typically are 50-80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), or 125–200 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). Of course, you should always consult your physician before incorporating any new vitamins or minerals into your diet.

Vitamin D capsules.
Vitamin D capsules.

Capsules can be identified by their distinct look; they are formed out of two gelatin pieces that have been filled with a substance and connected. There are certain benefits to choosing capsules over other forms of vitamin D supplements. Capsules have reputations for being easy to swallow. They can also be ingested relatively quickly. The fact that they can be opened and mixed with foods can also be beneficial.

If you're concerned about animal byproducts, avoid capsules made from gelatin.
If you're concerned about animal byproducts, avoid capsules made from gelatin.

Some people have trouble swallowing capsules. If you buy vitamin D capsules that you can break apart, you can increase the number of ways to deliver vitamin D into your system. For example, opening a capsule and mixing its contents with food or drinks can make supplementing easier if you can't swallow the capsule. This method of supplementation delivery can work well with children, the elderly or others who need to ingest the vitamin but need a way to do so other than swallowing a capsule.

Capsules usually contain gelatin, which is a meat byproduct. If you are concerned about consuming gelatin but still want to take vitamin D capsules, you can look for special capsules containing no gelatin. Vegetarian capsules are specially formulated without gelatin. If you don't want to ingest a meat byproduct, buy a vegetarian capsule for a gelatin-free experience.

Vitamin D capsules can be more expensive than other forms of vitamin D. They can also go out of date quickly. If you're looking for vitamin D capsules with long use-by dates, check the packaging of the product for a notice of special encapsulation procedures. These procedures can extend the shelf-life of the capsules, but they might add to the overall price of the product.

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Discussion Comments


The only reason I take vitamin D supplements is to improve the absorption and effectiveness of my calcium supplements. So instead of taking them separately, I've started taking them together in capsule form. They also come in tablets, but the capsules are easier to swallow. I have to take calcium and vitamin D on a regular basis from now on because of menopause. I can't swallow tablets, so I'm glad that there are softgel capsules.

My husband takes them sometimes too because he has a vitamin D deficiency. He doesn't get enough sunlight.


@fBoyle-- You can definitely find vegetarian vitamin D capsules. I recommend checking the supplement aisle of health food stores or organic markets. You can also buy them online.

I'm taking a great vitamin D3 supplement that's organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Non-vegetarian vitamin D3 supplements are made from fish or lanolin. The vegetarian caps I'm taking are made from mushrooms.


I have trouble finding a natural vitamin D supplement that's vegetarian. There are gluten and dairy free capsules, but vegetarian and vegan capsules are hard to find. Usually the gelatin used for capsules come from animal sources.

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    • Vitamin D capsules.
      By: tln
      Vitamin D capsules.
    • If you're concerned about animal byproducts, avoid capsules made from gelatin.
      By: Paulista
      If you're concerned about animal byproducts, avoid capsules made from gelatin.