Vitamin D and bone health
Q: Can you please comment on the latest report on vitamin D and bone health by the Institute of Medicine?
A: Last week, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) came out with a report which gave new recommendations for vitamin D and calcium for bone health. Their recommendations were very conservative at best, and do not seem to reflect what so much of the current research has found about the importance of vitamin D for so many health concerns, not just bone health. You may have seen a report on the news or read an article in a newspaper or website. This information is a bit conflicting, to say the least, to much of we’ve been seeing and reading about vitamin D, but here is a great rebuttal article about this IOM report from the Vitamin D Council here.
We recommend getting your blood levels of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) tested by your doctor’s office so you’ll know for sure if you need to take a higher level of vitamin D to get your your levels normalized and continue to test every 6 – 12 months to make sure they are in a normal/optimum range. Many insurances will cover this test now. It does require a blood draw, so it could be done when you go in for a general health exam (often upon request). Optimal lab values lie in 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nmol/L) range.
If you do not have insurance to cover this test, and you would like to find out what your blood level status of vitamin D, there are several labs on the internet that will work with you to do a vitamin D blood test, but we would recommend that the lab you use has a CLIA License, the federal agency that regulates laboratories. We work with the very reputable Metametrix Labs, which has a CLIA License (http://www.metametrix.com/about-us/quality-and-licensing/licensing). We can order lab tests for our clients, and we can do this vitamin D test (25-hydroxyvitamin D) if you are interested, please contact our nutritionist to set up the test. Additionally, our lab will file an insurance claim to your insurance if you have health insurance and would like to order this test through our practice.