The vitamin D blood spot is an easy at-home test-kit, which accurately measures your blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D with a single finger prick. It is important to keep your blood levels of vitamin D within a stable range that is neither too high nor too low. Knowing your vitamin D levels allows you to supplement with the correct amount of vitamin D3 for your specific physiological requirements.
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:
- living in northern latitudes,
- dark skin color,
- sunscreen use,
- minimal outdoor summertime sun exposure,
- excess cloud and smog cover and
- excess body weight.
- Medications including anticonvulsants, steroids and statins can have a negative impact on vitamin D status.
Vitamin D has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy bones and teeth and for maintaining our levels of calcium and phosphorous. Severe Vitamin D deficiency in infants and children causes the condition called rickets, characterized by soft and misshaped bones and teeth and muscle weakness.
Emerging research is beginning to uncover more connections between vitamin D and human health. Vitamin D plays a key role in balancing the body’s immune system and may play a role in preventing infections and autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis.
Other avenues of research have shown the link between treating vitamin D deficiency and treating mental disorders such as seasonal affective disorder and depression. Vitamin D has also been used to improved muscle strength and balance and to prevent falls and fractures in the elderly.
It also shows promise in the treatment of certain pain conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and restless leg syndrome. Finally, there are population studies that have shown an association between higher levels of vitamin D and a decreased incidence of heart disease and cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.