How Is The 25
Your doctor will tell you not to eat anything for four to eight hours before the test.
The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test requires a common blood test. Your healthcare provider will draw blood from a vein in your arm using a needle. A quick finger prick will more than likely provide enough for a blood sample in children and infants.
Results will depend on your age, sex, and the testing methods used. Results can also slightly vary from lab to lab.
According to the , levels of vitamin D are measured by the 25-hydroxy level in nanomoles/liter or nanograms/milliliter . The results can indicate the following:
- deficiency: less than 30 nmol/L
- potential deficiency: between 30 nmol/L and 50 nmol/L
- normal levels: between 50 nmol/L and 125 nmol/L
- high levels: higher than 125 nmol/L
If your vitamin D levels are low and youre having symptoms of bone pain, a doctor may recommend a special scan to check bone density. Doctors use this painless scan to evaluate a persons bone health.
Low blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D usually mean one of the following:
- you arent eating a balanced, complete diet
- your intestines arent absorbing the vitamin properly
- youre not spending enough time outside to absorb adequate vitamin D levels through sun exposure
Some evidence links vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of certain cancers, immune diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
High levels are rarely due to consuming too much of the vitamin through foods or sun exposure.
- excessive bleeding
Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
We dont need vitamin D from food or sunlight every day. But if you dont get enough over a longer period of time, you wont have enough vitamin D for good health known as vitamin D deficiency. This is very common in the UK around one in five adults and one in six children dont have enough vitamin D.
Some people are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than others. Supplements and eating foods which contain vitamin D can help.
Common Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Most of the people who are vitamin D deficient are asymptomatic . However, when the level of this vitamin drops very low, some people may experience fatigue, weakness, and muscle spasms.
Some observational studies also found an association between low vitamin D levels and feeling sad in winter times.
At the cellular level, vitamin D deficiency can cause decreased calcium absorption, resulting in thinning of bones in the long run. This can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Both of these diseases are not common in developed countries.
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Uv Levels In Victoria
As shown in the table below, from mid-August to April, average UV levels in Victoria are three and above for much of the day. This level of UV increases the risk of overexposure and skin damage, and sun protection is recommended. Using good sun protection should not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.From May to mid-August, average UV levels in Victoria are low . During this time, sun protection is not recommended, unless you work outdoors, are near highly reflective surfaces , or are outside for extended periods.
Helps The Immune System
The function of your immune system is to keep you healthy and away from diseases. Anything that supports your immune system is a boon to your health. Vitamin D is best for the immune system, and you will notice that not getting enough of it each day will land you in trouble of the risk of reduced functioning of your immune system. A weak immune system makes you vulnerable to several diseases and unwanted conditions. Its better to increase your intake of vitamin D through diet, sun exposure, and supplements, before putting your immune system at risk.
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Do Babies Need Vitamin D
Yes, babies under the age of 1 need vitamin D too.
Babies up to 1 year of age who are being breastfed should be given a daily supplement that contains 8.5 10 µg every day to make sure they are reaching recommended levels.17
This still applies if the breastfeeding mother is taking a supplement herself.
However, babies fed infant formulas will not need a vitamin D supplement if they are having more than 500ml of formula a day, as it will already by fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients.
The easiest way to provide breastfed babies with vitamin D is with vitamin D drops.
We have a Vitamin D3 Drop formula that is specifically designed for babies to take daily from birth until they are 12 months old.
- Yes, babies who are being breastfed need 8.5-10µg vitamin D a day
- Babies drinking infant formula wont need to supplement as their milk will have been fortified with vitamin D already
People Most At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people dont have enough vitamin D. This could be because their skin isnt exposed to enough sunlight, or because of health problems or higher needs for vitamin D.
For example, if:
- you dont go outdoors often, for example if you are housebound, in hospital or are disabled and less able to get about
- you wear clothes which cover most of your skin when you go outside
- you have dark skin, for example if youre from an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background as you need more sunlight to make enough vitamin D
- you wear sunscreen most or all of the time
- you need more vitamin D, babies, young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin D
- you are an older adult, as older people cant make as much vitamin D
- you have a health problem or youre taking certain medications which change the way vitamin D is controlled in the body, such as Crohns disease, coeliac disease, and some types of liver and kidney disease.
- you are very overweight, a there is some evidence to suggest that people who are very over weight are more likely to lack vitamin D
- you eat very few foods that contain vitamin D.
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Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Vitamin D is one of many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:
- Keeping bones strong: Having healthy bones protects you from various conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. You need vitamin D so that calcium and phosphorus can be used to build bones. In adults, having soft bones is a condition called osteomalacia.
- Absorbing calcium: Vitamin D, along with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, the loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures. Vitamin D, once either taken orally or from sunshine exposure is then converted to an active form of the vitamin. It is that active form that promotes optimal absorption of calcium from your diet.
- Working with parathyroid glands: The parathyroid glands work minute to minute to balance the calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, gut and skeleton. When there is sufficient calcium in the diet and sufficient active Vitamin D, dietary calcium is absorbed and put to good use throughout the body. If calcium intake is insufficient, or vitamin D is low, the parathyroid glands will borrow calcium from the skeleton in order to keep the blood calcium in the normal range.
Q: Do Some People Naturally Have Lower Vitamin D Levels Than Others
A: People with darker skin pigmentation tend to have lower levels, as do people who use sunscreen, dont spend much time outdoors, or are overweight or obese. This is because vitamin D is fat soluble, so it gets trapped in fatty tissue and cant be used by the body as it should be. Gastrointestinal surgery, like gastric bypass, makes it difficult to absorb vitamin D. And as we age, we dont absorb vitamin D well, and we produce less.
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Help Protect Against Heart Disease And Stroke
Is vitamin D heart-healthy? A prior review of 19 studies linked adequate vitamin D to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart failure. Yet the VITAL study, a large, randomized clinical trial study involving more than 25,000 participants and published in January 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found no risk reduction for strokes, heart attacks or cardiovascular deaths in people who took 2,000 IU supplements daily.
Is It Best To Get Your Vitamin D From The Sun Definitely Not
David J. Leffell, MD, Yale Medicine dermatologist and chief of Dermatologic Surgery
One of the biggest challenges weve faced in dermatology and in the world of skin cancer prevention has been a lot of misinformation about vitamin D metabolism.
There are claims that one needs to get a certain amount of sun exposure every day in order to produce enough vitamin D to be healthy. Its just not true. The majority of people can get their vitamin D from nutritional supplements and from vitamin D-fortified foods.
There are some people who have advocated for tanning to get vitamin D. But we know that UVB light causes skin cancer and that protecting yourself against it makes sense. As a doctor who treats patients who have melanomas, I want the general public to be advised that under no circumstances can use of a tanning bed or tanning in general be justified on the basis of vitamin D. Take a supplement instead.
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Vegan Vitamin D Spray
If you want a vegan source of the faster-acting vitamin D3 or simply cannot stand taking tablets or capsules, a vitamin D spray could be for you.
Vitamin D sprays act incredibly fast as they bypass the digestive system and deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream.
Beware however, that not all vitamin D sprays are vegan, but BetterYou Dlux Vegan Vitamin D Spray is. Give it a go and see if it works for you.
Vitamin D Can Help Treat Hypertension
According to a 2019 review published in the journal Current Protein & Peptide Science suggests that vitamin D may play a role in treatment of high blood pressureone of the markers of cardiovascular diseasesays Newgent. According to authors of the review, even short-term vitamin D deficiency may directly raise BP and promote target organ damage. The researchers went on to add that, “due to the high correlation between vitamin D and hypertension, vitamin D supplementation therapy may be a new insight in the treatment of hypertension.”
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Vitamin D Can Help You Lose Weight
Dr. Boyd points out that obesity is a known risk factor for low vitamin D levelswhich means more vitamin D may help with weight loss. One 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that, in overweight or obese women with low calcium levels, those who took a daily dose of calcium paired with vitamin D were more successful shedding pounds than those who took a placebo supplement, due to an appetite-suppressing effect of the combination.
Why We Need Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus from your diet and use these minerals to keep your bones, teeth and muscles strong. This helps prevent falls as you get older.
Vitamin D may have other roles in the bodys immune system and heart health too.A lack of vitamin D can cause bone problems such as rickets in children and muscle weakness and painful or tender bones in adults.
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What Does Research Say About Vitamin D
Although research on vitamin D abounds, its effect on human health remains uncertain. Thats largely because the majority of vitamin D studies either are on animals or were conducted in small human populations. Most important, the majority of research on the nutrient is observational, meaning that the findings dont point to a definite cause-and-effect relationship between vitamin D and the potential health benefit being studied.
Studies that do produce likely causal results are conducted with a randomized controlled model, in which researchers eliminate the risk of bias and account for potentially conflicting factors, notes George Washington University. Large randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard for research, and unfortunately, there havent been many on vitamin D supplementation and its various possible health benefits.
With research limitations in mind, heres an in-depth look at what vitamin D can, may, and definitely won’t do for your health.
Chewable Vitamin D For Children
It looks like a sweet treat, it tastes like a sweet treat, no wonder your kids will probably prefer chewable vitamin D capsules!
We stock a wide range of chewable vitamin D, such as Wellkid Peppa Pig Vitamin D Soft Jellies which contain the exact level of Vitamin D recommended by the Department of Health England.16
We also offer child and Teen Omega 3 Fish Oil Chewy Capsules with Vitamin D, so they get their all-important omega 3s along with their daily dose of vitamin D.
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Vitamin D Can Help Strengthen Muscles
Along with its bone-building abilities, vitamin D is also influential in strengthening muscles. Lack of vitamin D in the body can increase the risk of having weak muscles, which in turn increases the risk of falls, Lana Nasrallah, MPH, RD, clinical dietician at UNC Health, tells Health. This is especially important for the elderly. Vitamin D may help increase muscle strength thus preventing falls, which is a common problem that leads to substantial disability and death in older adults.
Its Very Individual How Much Sun Exposure A Person Needs Roberta Bivins
Its very individual how much sun exposure a person needs during summer, depending on the pigment in the skin to the amount of fat in the body and how quickly your body makes new bone. Its incredibly complicated, she says.
Thats why the best way to determine if you have low vitamin D is not by symptoms alone, but with a blood test arranged through your medic.
Then there is the question of exactly what level of supplementation people need. Reid says theres no danger in taking over-the-counter vitamin D of less than 25 nanomols per day.
US and Canada guidelines suggest taking 15 micrograms of vitamin D supplements each day, but some believe its not enough
But with supplements offering doses as high as 62.5 micrograms available over the counter, there are concerns around the risk of excessive vitamin D levels, which can, in rare cases, cause side effects, including nausea and vomiting. In the long term, some studies suggest too much vitamin D can increase risk of cardiovascular disease, although the research isnt conclusive.
But others argue that even more vitamin D is needed.
With such conflicting results, its unsurprising that medical experts themselves are deeply divided over the benefits of widespread supplementation. Some even argue that vested interests are propping up the billion-dollar vitamin industry, with Spector calling vitamin D supplements a pseudo-vitamin for a pseudo-disease.
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Good Sources Of Vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. Read more about vitamin D and sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.
Which Type Of Vitamin D Is Best For You
If you would like a little more of the sunshine vitamin in your life, but do not know which type of vitamin D is best for you, dont worry – were on the case!
Our nutritionists have created a handy guide outlining which type and form of vitamin D will help you thrive.
Whether you are looking for vitamin D for adults, vegans, children and babies or for when you are pregnant, there is a suitable type for everyone.
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What Happens If I Don’t Have Enough Vitamin D
Moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in infants and children.
Low vitamin D levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase the risk of falls and fractures if you are over 50. Osteoporosis occurs when your bones lose calcium and other minerals, making them fragile and more likely to break. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, so if you dont have enough, you can be at increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
People with very low levels of vitamin D are the most at risk of developing health problems.
A number of diseases have been linked to low vitamin D levels such as increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children and cancer. Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis. However, Choosing Wisely Australia recommends that you do not need routine testing for vitamin D deficiency unless you are considered specifically at risk.