My vitamin D levels just tested low, and I am looking for the most bio-available supplement. Even better if it is vegan. I am still breastfeeding, if that changes the recommendation. Thanks!
The best one is D3, which as far as I know is only sourced from fish oil or lanolin. I believe there are vegan sources of D2, but it's not nearly as effective in remedying D deficiency. If you are still breastfeeding, take lots, and also take mag, calcium, A, K2 (they all work together in the body).
I second D3. I'm breastfeeding and have no idea what my levels are, but I'm taking 6700 IU's a day. My neighbor is elderly and she takes 50,000 a day, because she was low. Maybe ask your doctor for a dosage amount? I also give drops to my kids as well. We live in the Pacific Northwest and 400 IU's per day is recommended for children now that the AAP increased the minimum for kids.
Yes, you definitely want D3 if you feel you can do that. The vitamin D council website has information about why you don't want to use D2 forms.
I'd suggest 10,000 IU per day normally but I'm not sure if pregnancy affects dosage amounts. You need something like 1000 IU per 25 pounds just to maintain current vitamin D levels. You want to raise and raise quickly so you'd need more of course to have any chance at normal levels--and the baby greatly benefits from normal levels. I wish I had known I was low in pregnancy.
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You had asked about the most bio-available - to me that means what brands are better...but maybe I'm misunderstanding. FWIW, our family doc says there are only three companies in the world that synthesize Vit D. So, even if you buy Sisu or another $$ brand, you are basically getting the same thing as in the cheaper brands.
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FWIW, not every authority is in agreement regarding D2 vs D3. I am vegan and take D2, did through pregnancy and now in breastfeeding. My levels test great!
Here's a research article showing D2 is just as effective as D3 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2266966/