Sunday, October 18, 2009

New standards for vitamin D


The lack of vitamin D causes rickets. This is where bone gets soft and then deforms as it has lost its strength. An x-ray of a child with rickets is shown to the left. (Picture credit).

Up until 1997 rickets was the sign of vitamin D adequacy or lack. This resulted in the belief that nearly everyone in the western world had adequate levels of vitamin D.

However with the rise of obstreperous vitamin D was revisited, relooked at from a modern perspective. It because clear that lack of vitamin D was aggravating and maybe even causing osteoporosis.

So in 1997 the standard changed from rickets to measuring a blood component. The blood compound is called 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, stated in short hand of 25(OH)D. It is the biologically active form of vitamin D found in the blood.

This leads to the point that if you are at risk from osteoporosis that you should get a blood test to measure how much vitamin D you have in your blood. 


Now interpreting the test, "normal" range is 20–150 nmol/L (30.0 to 74.0 ng/mL). Levels below 80nmol/L are often seen as deficient. So if you have blood levels below this you should be taking a supplement of 10–30 µg/day or 400 - 12 000 IU's per day. Otherwise spend 15 minutes a day sitting in the sun with arms and legs exposed, doing this outside of high risk of sunburn time.

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