Vitamin D is best known for its ability to protect our bones but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits this important vitamin offers. Vitamin D is also very protective of our health with evidence showing an association between low vitamin D levels and increased risk of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease. In fact, if your blood serum levels fall within the bottom 25 percent of what is considered normal, this significantly increases your likelihood of dying from most of the common diseases.
So what are the chances you fall into the low vitamin D risk category?
There is actually a good chance as 30% of the population have been found to be deficient in vitamin D and this is especially true if you avoid the sun or use lots of sun protection.
In the past it was very difficult to get a blood test to measure your vitamin D levels unless you suffered from a bone disease. Luckily this has recently changed and your doctor is able to order a test or you can simply turn up at your local laboratory and pay for a test, you don’t even need a script from your doctor. Our local laboratory is Pathlab and it costs $30 to be tested with the results being reported directly to you and your doctor.
So what blood serum levels do you need?
- Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of below 25 nmol/L are considered deficient.
- Levels of between 25-50 nmol/L are sub-optimal
- Levels of over 50 nmol/L are optimal however some literature advises you whould aim for above 75 nmol/L to help prevent disease
- Although no safe upper level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D has been identified, treatment to levels above 125 nmol/L is not recommended.
So get yourself checked if you think you could be low. It might be one of the best things you do all year to ensure a long and healthy life!