Vitamin D and Calcium: How They Work Together

You’ve probably heard about needing calcium when growing up to have strong bones, but did you know that there are other nutrients that help with your bone health and calcium absorption? Vitamin D is important for many bodily processes, but here we are going to focus on the relationship between calcium and vitamin D, and why you should take these nutrients together.


What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body can produce on its own with help from the sun, as well as get from food or supplements. Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D are naturally produced by your body on its own and can stay in your body for longer periods of time than water-soluble vitamins. Other fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K.


Fast Facts About Vitamin D


  • There are two types of vitamin D – D2 and D3. These subtypes differ in their structure slightly, but their active forms appear to bind to the Vitamin D receptor comparably. However, results of studies to determine whether the subtypes are biologically equivalent have been mixed.


  • D2 and D3 are both found in some foods; however, D3 is only found in animal-derived foods. D3 supplements often contain lanolin, a substance that is sourced mainly from sheep — making them unfit for vegans. Luckily, lichen is rich in vitamin D3 and is a vegan source of the nutrient – MaryRuth’s D3 is derived from lichen, not lanolin!



  • You need vitamin D to support a healthy immune system.


  • Vitamin D also helps to support bone health. One of the major roles of vitamin D in your body is aiding in calcium absorption. Your body needs D3 to optimally absorb calcium, a mineral which plays a key part in strong bones and teeth. We’ll talk more about the relationship between calcium and vitamin D in the paragraphs to follow.


  • You may be at a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency if you live in an area with limited sun exposure. Your body needs sunlight to produce its own vitamin D3, and if you aren’t consistently getting time in the sun, it may be helpful to add a Vitamin D supplement to your diet. A vitamin D deficiency can develop in individuals who don’t get enough of the nutrient from sunlight, dietary sources, and/or supplements.


  • Vitamin D3 may be more bioavailable than D2, but research is still limited. Bioavailability is a term that refers to your body’s ability to use a certain nutrient. One study concluded that Vitamin D3 is easier for your body to convert into 25-hydroxyvitamin D than D2. 25-hydroxyvitamin D is produced by your body in response to sunlight, supplements, or dietary sources of vitamin D. Further research needs to be done before vitamin D3 can conclusively be labeled more bioavailable than D2, but it may be smart to opt for a D3 supplement rather than a D2 supplement.


What is Calcium?

Calcium is a mineral. That means it’s an inorganic substance, a substance that is not produced by plants, animals, or humans. Minerals are absorbed by plants from water and soil. After absorption, minerals can then enter the bodies of the animals who eat plants, as well as the people who eat plants and animals. You get minerals from food, but you can also take them as supplements.


Calcium’s primary role in your body is helping you maintain strong bones, though, it is also needed to carry out many other important functions like movement of your muscles and helping your nerves deliver messages between your brain and the rest of your body. Calcium helps your blood vessels to move your blood, as well as release hormones and enzymes needed by your body. You can get calcium from a number of dietary sources, but the most well-known calcium-rich food is dairy. If you are eating a plant-based diet, dairy isn’t an option, so it may be helpful to take a calcium supplement or add more vegan sources of the mineral to your daily meals.


Fast Facts About Calcium


  • Calcium can be found in a variety of vegan foods, especially leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. You don’t need to consume dairy to get calcium in your diet! Instead, you can get it from vegetables and a high quality plant-based supplement.


  • Without vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium. Your vitamin D levels directly correspond to your body’s ability to use the calcium that you get from food. Even if you are getting plenty of calcium from supplements or dietary sources, insufficient levels of vitamin D will limit your body’s absorption of the mineral. Making sure that you are getting enough vitamin D can help to support your body’s absorption of calcium.


  • Lack of calcium may lead to bone loss, which can cause the development of a condition called osteoporosis. Aging naturally reduces your bone mass, and it is especially important to continue getting enough calcium in your diet as you get older. Osteoporosis can develops in older adults as their bone density decreases. While calcium supplements cannot cure or prevent osteoporosis on their own, getting enough of the mineral may play an important role in maintaining bone density.




Signs of a Calcium Deficiency

Lack of sufficient calcium in your diet may cause multiple problems. If you are noticing any of the symptoms listed below, make sure to talk to your doctor. A healthcare professional can check your micronutrient levels to see if a calcium deficiency is causing problems for your health.


  • Calcium deficiency can cause bone loss. As you’ve learned, one of the main causes of osteoporosis is lack of calcium. If you have osteoporosis, your bones are at greater risk of being broken or fractured. The condition can also cause frequent aches and pains.


  • Dental issues. In addition to strengthening your bones, calcium, alongside vitamins D, plays an important role in supporting healthy teeth. If your calcium levels are too low, you may be at greater risk of tooth decay. A great way to avoid calcium-related dental problems is to get enough of the mineral in your diet and from supplements.


How Vitamin D And Calcium Deficiency Are Connected

If you start noticing symptoms of a calcium deficiency, your doctor may recommend that you start taking a vitamin D supplement. As you now know, your body’s absorption of calcium is dependent on vitamin D. For this reason, adding a calcium supplement to your diet may not be enough to help with calcium deficiency. If your body is low on vitamin D, you may need to first treat this deficiency before your body can properly absorb and use calcium again.


To support all of your nutrient needs, it’s a great idea to pair a high-quality multivitamin with a nutrient-dense diet. Food should be your go-to source for the nutrients that your body needs, but supplements can be a big help as well. Taking our liquid multivitamin in the morning and multimineral at night will give you calcium, vitamin D, and many other nutrients that you need, all in one place. Adding a multivitamin to a diet that is already full of nutrients may help you avoid a deficiency and support your overall health.


Pairing MaryRuth’s liquid multimineral with your liquid daily multivitamin is a great way to support your body with calcium and vitamin D3, as well as many more essential nutrients. Our signature formulas are easy to take, making it a great option for kids and adults alike. It’s also made without any added sugar, so you can feel great about including it in a healthy diet and sharing it with your family.


To use our liquid multivitamin and multimineral, simply start your day with one and end your day with the other! It’s as simple as that. Our multivitamin is designed to be taken first thing in the morning to give you the energy and nourishment that you need to take on your day. Then, finish the day out with a serving of our liquid multimineral to provide your body with calcium, vitamin D3, and a wide array of other essential nutrients.


You can find our liquid multivitamin here and our multimineral here. This pair is the perfect combination – they taste fantastic, are full of high-quality ingredients, and are right at home in a vegan diet! Additionally, our K2 + D3 Calcium Gummies provide three important nutrients for your bone and joint health all in one.


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