Vitamin D plays an important role in immune function, energy levels, mineral absorption and in prevention for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and autoimmune conditions. Knowing your levels is important for determining your optimal dose.
We commonly hear the phrase “we know everyone is low so just take it…you don’t need to test as you’re levels are likely low”. That logic may hold true to encourage Canadians to put their money into starting supplementation when they don’t normally take the vitamin, however that is no longer helpful when you are attempting to determine the ideal dosing level. In my practice, when I see a strong family history of any of the conditions mentioned above I encourage patients to get their levels tested. It is a simple, inexpensive blood test your naturopathic doctor can order through LIfeLabs and the cost is $78.00. It is no longer covered under the MSP plan so unless you are under 19 years old, or seeing a specialist you will need to pay to obtain these results from your Medical doctor as well. The test to order is 25-OH Vitamin D.
I have seen numerous patients recently who had been taking Vitamin D at doses in the 2000 – 4000 iu per day range for months and even years – thinking they were doing a great preventative step only to find out that they were deficient when we tested their levels. Ideally we like to see results in the 100 – 150 nmol/L optimizing range.
Discuss with your naturopathic physician if this is an appropriate step for you.