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I recently reviewed Holland & Barrett Sunvite Vitamin D3 Tablets. If you are unfamiliar with the importance of vitamin D or vitamin D supplementation I suggest you read that review as it contains information about both. This review will just focus on my favourite vitamin D supplement: Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3.
===Why Choose Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3?===
After taking 800-1200 iu of Holland & Barrett Sunvite Vitamin D3 tablets every day (well, most days) for several months without any significant, noticeable results I decided to give another brand a try. In the past I have found I respond to some vitamin brands/formulations better than others. My mum had been using Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 very successively (with blood work to prove it) so I decided to give them a try.
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D are ideal for people with food allergies because they contain no hidden coatings, excipients, binders, fillers, shellacs, artificial colors or fragrances. They contain no diary, wheat, yeast, gluten, sugar, soy, preservatives or hydrogenated oils. In fact, they contain only Vitamin D3 and hypo-allergenic plant fiber in a vegetable capsule. They are vegetarian, but the vitamin D3 (like nearly all vitamin D3) is derived from lanolin so they are not suitable for vegans. If you are looking for vegan vitamin D you need to look for vitamin D2 (which is generally considered less absorbable but can be very effective if taken consistently over a period of time).
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 comes in 400, 1000, 5000 and 10000 iu capsules as well as a liquid form (my Holland & Barrett Sunvite Vitamin D3 review contains more information about recommended daily dosages for vitamin D). I chose the 1000 iu capsules, which come in bottles of 60, 120 or 250.
The capsules are small (1.5cm long) and very easy to swallow. I'm not very good at swallowing pills, but I've never struggled with these. They go down easily and don't leave any kind of aftertaste. The label recommends taking these with food. I nearly always follow this advice, but on a few occasions I've taken them on their own and even then I didn't have any problems with indigestion.
Shortly after taking the Pure Encapsulation Vitamin D, I started to notice a difference. Previously I would get painful skin (like a sunburn without the heat) several times a week. Now I only get the pain once or twice a month. In addition, I had become severely sun sensitive (I burned within minutes of going outside, even in our relatively weak UK sun). Although I still have to be careful in the sun, after just a few months of taking the Pure Encapsulation Vitamin D capsules, I can now spend an hour in the UK summer sun without burning. I am reasonably confident this is down to vitamin D, but the improvements didn't come while I was taking the Holland & Barrett Sunvite version. In addition, my mum's blood work showed she was low on vitamin D so her doctor put her on 10,000 iu per day. Due to numerous, severe food allergies, my mum chose to take Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D as it was one of the only brands which did not contain any of the many foods she must avoid. After 3 months her vitamin D levels had risen to a much healthier level. She then took 10,000 iu several times a week for a few months before switching to 1,000 iu per day to maintain healthy levels. There is no doubt these capsules are effective for us.
===Cost and Availability===
I bought a bottle of 120 capsules of Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 1000 iu from Amazon.co.uk for £11.99 back in February but they don't seem to be available there at the moment. They are widely available in the USA so in the future I might stock up when I'm back visiting family. However, here in the UK they are listed on a website called Pure Bio. I have ordered from them before a few times without issue.
These capsules are more expensive than many of the other brands (for example 100 Holland and Barrett 1000 iu tablets are £7.99), but I consider these to be worth the money because they give results and don't contain lots of unnecessary fillers and additives.