Vitamin D Home Test

As a follower of  Dr. William Davis’ Heart Scan blog, I am a convert to the Vitamin D message.

For eight months now I’ve been supplementing with  6000-8000 IU of D3 on a daily basis. In the absence of any initial test of blood levels, my self-prescription was a complete shot in the dark based loosely on posts I’d read on his and others’ blogs.

 
A Trip to the GP

Finally, a few weeks back, I decided it was time to find out how the supplementation was going. So I asked my GP if he could do the Vitamin D (25-OH) blood test. His immediate response was, “Why do you need that? Just go outside in the sun.” I explained that, being over 40, I was concerned my ability to make my own Vit D was impaired hence the supplements and follow up test. This irritated him even more at which point I was told he was “too busy to discuss this now” and “go talk to the receptionist.”

To make a long story short, the lab they work with does not do this test. I suppose this story is irrelevant other than to warn you that your “weird” views on Vitamin D may be met with derision.

 

Saved again by the internets!

Fortunately, I had already learned that I could order a home test over the net. They even do the tests internationally! The cost for those outside the US is US$90 including shipping.

So I placed the order and it arrived promptly by courier a few days later.

Basically you need to prick your finger and put a few drops of blood on a paper tablet then return it through the post to the lab.

It’s almost a no-brainer however I would definitely recommend that before you prick your finger, you should swing your arm around a few times to ensure that you get enough flow to fill the card. Swinging your arm after you prick your finger results in a scene out of CSI.

I suppose the swinging bit may not be necessary in all cases but my initial pricking effort produced only one drop of blood. But I digress…
 

With the test complete including only minor spillage on the test card (excluding aforementioned spatter on walls, ceiling and floor), I sent it back through the regular post… And about two weeks later my results arrived by mail.

 

Success!

Verdict? My 25-OH score was 73 ng/ml – pretty good. This is very close to optimum (the ranges doctors work to vary but for the proponents of Vitamin D it’s typically in the 50-70ng/ml range).

However, my results came with this warning:

Your blood vitamin D level is with the reference range (32-100ng/ml), but slightly above the range most experts consider as optimal for health (50-70 ng/ml). Excessive levels of Vitamin D over a prolonged period of time can be unhealthy.

I suppose they have to say that to cover themselves but frankly I was hoping they were going to tell me what a star I am.

It’s also worth noting that the quote, repeated verbatim, shows some wavering over whether or not to capitalize “Vitamin D.” As I was looking for guidance on that point I’m still lost.

 

The Test Kit Contents

Instructions

My Bloody Results

 

PS: I’m going to drop my daily dose of D3 to 2000IU.

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Ethical Quandary – Industry Money in Med Schools

Give your doctor a break, he doesn’t know he has been brainwashed:

In a first-year pharmacology class at Harvard Medical School, Matt Zerden grew wary as the professor promoted the benefits of cholesterol drugs and seemed to belittle a student who asked about side effects.

Mr. Zerden later discovered something by searching online that he began sharing with his classmates. The professor was not only a full-time member of the Harvard Medical faculty, but a paid consultant to 10 drug companies, including five makers of cholesterol treatments.

“I felt really violated,” Mr. Zerden, now a fourth-year student, recently recalled. “Here we have 160 open minds trying to learn the basics in a protected space, and the information he was giving wasn’t as pure as I think it should be.”

More – New York Times

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