Why is Vitamin D testing gaining importance?
The significance of vitamin D testing in maintaining good health has received unprecedented attention in recent times. Usually adequate levels of vitamin D in the human body is associated with good skeletal health and deficiency with bone metabolism abnormalities. Bone deformities in children from rickets are caused by low levels of vitamin D. Abnormalities in calcium and phosphorous levels in the body are also linked to low levels of vitamin D. In addition to this, studies have shown Vitamin D deficiency to have some linkages to certain types of cancers, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel disorders. These findings appear to be responsible for the recent increase in vitamin D testing.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a group of fat soluble secosteroids that act as precursors to biologically active 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D. It refers to both the D2 and D3 forms of these compound. A secosteroid is a molecule similar to steroid but with a broken formation. Vitamin D is unique compared to other vitamins because it both a pro hormone and a vitamin that the body synthesis with exposure to adequate sun light.
Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D is the test of choice to assess a patient’s vitamin D levels. It is preferred because it reflects the precursor levels of vitamin D.
Current assays measure total vitamin D i.e. 25-hydroxy vitamin D
What is the recommended level of vitamin D?
The recommended blood levels of vitamin D – is more than 30ng/ml