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Why Is Vitamin D So Important?

Vitamin D deficiency is a global health concern impacting more than one billion people worldwide [Palacios C & Gonzale 2014]¹. There is conflicting literature on what are adequate levels of vitamin D. The Endocrine Society defines vitamin D deficiency as serum levels of 25(OH)-D at less than 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). Insufficient levels are listed between 21-29 ng/mL, and sufficient levels > 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L). These levels are particularly crucial for optimal skeletal development but are likely not ideal for optimal immune function [Michael et al. 2011, Holick 2017]². This classification has been accepted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, International Osteoporosis Foundation, American Association for Clinical Endocrinologists, and the American Geriatric Society [Holick 2017]³. Serum levels of 25(OH)D less than 30 ng/mL are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular complications, including myocardial infarction [Giovannucci et al 2008, Ringe & Kipshoven 2012]¹¹. In terms of optimal immune function, serum 25(OH)D concentrations between 40-60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L) have been proposed [Charoenngam & Holick ]²². The Government of Canada states 68% of Canadians have reached sufficient vitamin D levels just for skeletal growth, which Health Canada defines as a serum 25(OH)D concentration > 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) [Vitamin D and Calcium Updated Dietary Reference Intake. Government of Canada]³³.

Vitamin D levels in the blood can be tested using a variety of methods, including a simple home test kit available at our ImmunoStore.