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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Calcium key nutrient for weight loss

Calcium could be the key nutrient needed to help you lose weight, according to a growing consensus of new research examining the mineral. Calcium not only helps with hypertension, the research shows: it also appears to support healthy physiology in a way that results in the loss of excess body fat. More

Specifically, one study reported that fat-free yogurt has a strongtly positive impact on weight loss programs. The prescription of 3 servings of fat-free yogurt increased weight loss especially around the abdomen.

For 12 weeks, the first group ate three 6-ounce servings of fat-free yogurt providing about 1,100 milligrams of calcium per day; the other group ate only one serving of dairy providing 400-500 milligrams of calcium per day. Both groups ate a controlled diet that contained 500 fewer calories than normal to stimulate weight loss.

As expected, all of the participants lost weight as a result of the calorie restriction. But the study showed that both weight and fat loss were significantly greater in the yogurt group.

For example, those on the low-calcium diet lost an average of 11 pounds, but those on the high-calcium yogurt diet lost an average of more than 14 pounds.

Participants on the yogurt diet also lost 81% more fat in the stomach area, which is the most dangerous type of fat. Excess fat in the midsection has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer.