We Are Sunshine

Doctors are ordering more and more vitamin D tests, report says.

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Americans ordered 80-90 percent more vitamin D tests this year, USA Today reported on Tuesday — proof that more and more doctors are catching on to the many health benefits now linked to higher levels of “the sunshine vitamin.”

2008-07-15-testing-d-tanningnews-copy.jpgUSA Today reported, “The jump in vitamin D testing comes after a slew of emerging research — much of which has been published in the past few years — linking vitamin D deficiency with some infectious diseases, cancers, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders, says Patsy Brannon, professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University.”

The paper’s coverage continued, “Other research indicates that many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and that is also fueling the testing trend, says Catherine Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children’s Hospital Boston.”

The increases were reported by two of the major testing labs for vitamin D tests, as well as the Mayo Clinic.

“Even a year ago, vitamin D testing wasn’t really being talked about among physicians in a major way. But now I am testing 100% more than I did in the past,” Dr. Janet Pregler, director of the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center, told USA Today.

According to The Vitamin D Council, an independent vitamin D advocacy group based in California, vitamin D blood levels are measured by a calcidiol test (also know as a 25-hyrdoxyvitamin D test). More important than your daily intake of vitamin D are your actual vitamin D blood levels. Optimal vitamin D blood levels are 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L), according to The Vitamin D Council.

A majority of Americans and up to 97 percent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient, according to research. Vitamin D deficiency is now linked to higher rates of most cancers, as well as heart disease, type I diabetes, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis.

Click here to read the USA Today story.