“The lab standards for these deficiencies are often random and pills are not always the answer,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “With the help of our medical experts, we have identified people who may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency and may actually benefit from supplements.”
ShopSmart found that when it comes to being concerned about vitamin D, people wonder if they are getting enough. For those who don’t get at least some midday sun exposure during the warmer months or don’t regularly consume vitamin D rich foods such as fatty fish, eggs, fortified milk or soy products, a vitamin D supplement might help. Getting tested for vitamin D deficiency is not necessary unless there is a risk — being middle-aged or older, dark-skinned, or overweight are all factors that can slightly increase one’s risk.
ShopSmart’s report highlights findings from its recent tests of 32 vitamin D, calcium-D combos and kid’s D products, which found that all had at least as much D as their labels claimed. Overall, the best vitamin D supplement buy was Trader Joe’s Vitamin D, priced at $5 for 180 softgels (3 cents per pill). Other good buys include GNC Vitamin D-3, Nature Made D3 Liquid Softgels, Now Vitamin D3, Rite-Aid Vitamin D-3, The Vitamin Shoppe Vitamin D3, Walgreens D3 and Whole Foods Market Vitamin D3 (all cost 4 cents per pill).