Vitamin D Blood Spot Test
ZRT Vitamin D Blood Spot Test is an easy test done at home to find out your vitamin D levels.
Most people are familiar with vitamin D's role in preventing rickets in children and in helping the body absorb calcium from the diet. Recently, research has shown that vitamin D is important in protecting the body from a wide range of diseases. Disorders linked with vitamin D deficiency include stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, several forms of cancer, some autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, type II diabetes, depression and even schizophrenia.
"Everyone should have their vitamin D levels tested once a year." - Timothy Long
The Problem: Vitamin D Deficiency
A major culprit of vitamin D deficiency is inadequate sun exposure of the skin, usually for climatic or cultural reasons (even in countries near the equator, women in particular must have much of their skin area covered), and through the popular use of sunscreen.
Vitamin D status is therefore an important screening test, especially for people who spend much of their time indoors, or who live in colder climates, and may also be used to monitor vitamin D supplementation to ensure that adequate blood levels are achieved.
Who is at Risk?
- The Elderly: Amounts of the vitamin D precursor in the skin decrease with age, therefore elderly people are particularly prone to deficiency, and living in rest homes or becoming home bound can limit exposure to sunshine. Muscle weakness and osteoporosis associated with vitamin D deficiency make the elderly more susceptible to falling and fracture risk and trials indicate that vitamin D supplementation may decrease the risk of fractures
- Dark-Skinned People: Higher melanin levels in dark skinned people block the action of sunlight on vitamin D precursors in the skin, requiring much longer sunlight exposure to generate adequate circulating vitamin D compared to fair-skinned people.
- People with Limited Sunlight Exposure: People living at northern latitudes or who have limited sunlight exposure because of their working environment or cultural dress rules may have low vitamin D levels
- Musculoskeletal Pain Sufferers: Patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism, non-specific musculoskeletal pain, chronic low back pain, or fibromyalgia are frequently found to have low vitamin D levels and show clinical improvement after supplementation. Vitamin D screening is strongly recommended in patients presenting with musculoskeletal pain
- Overweight or Obese People: Vitamin D can be locked up in fat stores in obese patients, who have been found to have lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D and are at risk of deficiency.
How Does It Work?
A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. This can be done at home, meaning no more painful venous needle sticks or the inconvenience of driving to a blood collection center.
- According to the Vitamin D Council, studies indicate that for proper health, serum vitamin D levels should be a minimum of 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L), with optimal levels falling between 50-80 ng/mL (125-200 nmol/L). These values apply to both children and adults.
- How does the new blood spot Vitamin D assay compare with conventional venipuncture serum testing? ZRT has shown conclusively that this new blood spot testing method is quantitatively equivalent to conventional serum Vitamin D testing by LC-MS/MS.
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