Vitamin D Test
At NutriFit Canada, our nutrition and wellness health clinic, we specialise in a range of nutrition tests including Vitamin D test. We take the time to explain your results and provide guidance. We help you prepare for your blood draw in our clinic and ensure that our specimens are analysed by reputable medical laboratories for reliable results. It is well worth this reasonable cost to take preventive action with qualified guidance to protect your health. Some extended health insurance plans may cover the cost. Read on, to learn more about Vitamin D and the test
What is the Vitamin D Test?
Vitamin D test measures your blood vitamin D, the fat-soluble, sunshine vitamin that is essential for good health. There are different types of vitamin D tests. The most common test is vitamin D3 hydroxy or total D3 and D2 hydroxy. Consult with your dietitian, which D test you should get.
Why is Vitamin D important, and how does it help my body?
Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and in balancing calcium and phosphorus in our blood. It has a host of other important roles in the body for:
- muscle strength and in muscle and nerve function
- strong bones and teeth
- building a strong immune system to fight virus and bacteria
- reducing inflammation
- cell growth
- reducing falls and fractures in the elderly, to name just a few
Scientists are still trying to understand the many ways in which Vitamin D helps us. Its role in other areas that shows promise, but still needs more research are:
- Managing healthy weight
- helping in mood disorders and depression
- Reducing the risk of getting certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes
How do I know if I am getting enough D?
the main ways in which your body can get and/or make vitamin D are from sunlight, few foods and supplements. The only sure way to know is by getting a blood test. Everyone’s body is individual and responds in a unique way. You may or may not reach your therapeutic blood D target with the combined effect of sun exposure, food, and supplements. Your genes, skin pigment and colour, your weight, fat levels, health, and your body’s individual ability to absorb and activate D are some of your unique attributes that will affect your D levels. Other nutrients in your diet such as Magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A and others will also influence your level.
Why do I need the D test?
Many factors influence the actual level of vitamin D in your body, such as your genes, skin colour, the environment, your health, interaction with other nutrients, and your exposure to UVB rays from sunlight. Sunlight, your main source of UVB rays that produce D in your skin do not reach the northern latitudes such as Calgary, most of Canada and the northern US states in the winter months from about October to April. Simple factors such as clothing, sunscreen, cloud and smog and glass also block UVB rays and the amount of D your body will make. Therefore, a large number of people living in northern regions have been shown to have LOW D levels. It is not how much D you get from sun exposure, or take in from supplements and food but the actual target blood levels your body ultimately can build up that will matter. Everyone’s body is individual and responds in a unique way. With so many factors at play, it is a mug’s game figuring out if you have the right levels of vitamin D in your body without being tested.
I take a D supplement. Do I need to have the vitamin D test?
Having too much or not enough vitamin D has consequences. As explained above, many factors influence your body’s ability to achieve and maintain healthy D target level. Taking a vitamin D supplement does not guarantee that your body will achieve healthy level in the blood. Other than testing, there is no sure way to know If your ACTUAL blood level of D is too high or too low from the combined exposure from light, food, and supplements.
Can too high or too low levels of Vitamin D be harmful?
Yes, scientific evidence suggests that not enough or high levels of D in your body can have negative effect. At the low end it can affect your immunity, bone and muscle health. At high levels, excess absorption of calcium and other minerals are reported to be deposited in blood vessel walls, and in soft tissues such as liver and kidneys giving rise to problems such as gall and kidney stones.
Where can I get Vitamin D test?
At NutriFit Canada, our nutrition and wellness health clinic. We are located on 701 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, Alberta. Up until 2015, the cost of D test was covered by the provincial health plan. Now, except for special health circumstances family doctors have stopped ordering routine D test as its coverage was unlisted in 2015 due to the cost burden on the plan.
When is a good time to take the test?
While you can be tested at any time, the two recommended periods for those of us living in Canada, USA and in the northern latitudes are: OCTOBER, before you head into winter (the most likely period when your levels are likely to drop) and APRIL as you come out of winter to help you decide on prudent action to keep your levels healthy.
How long will it take to get my results and will my report be explained to me?
You will get test results in about 3-5 days. Our Registered Dietitian who has expertise and experience in nutrient testing and interpreting nutrition test results, will discuss your report with you.
How do I know if I am getting enough D?
The only sure way to know is by getting a blood test. Everyone’s body is individual and responds in a unique way. You may or may not reach your therapeutic blood D target with the combined effect of sun exposure, food and supplements. Your skin pigment and colour, your weight, fat levels, health, and your body’s individual ability to absorb and activate D are some of your unique attributes that will affect your D levels. Other nutrients in your diet such as Magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A and others will also influence your level.
I have heard confusing information that D test is not necessary
Different views can be confusing. As a large segment of the population was found to have low levels of vitamin D, a generalised strategy was implemented by the provincial health plan to unlist the coverage of D-test due to its huge expense, and to recommend general supplementation. The reality is, supplementation does not guarantee that you will achieve your target level of D. Both, low and high levels can be harmful. This strategy has come under criticism from many health professionals and health organisations that feel that it is a mistake to trade-off active prevention for future ill-health. Wouldn’t you rather hedge your bet on actual evidence rather than guesswork to safeguard your health? After all, the cost is relatively small. You make the choice Book my Appointment