Why You Need to Have Your Vitamin D Level Tested Now
November 22, 2003
Traditionally, specific nutrient intake recommendations have
been based on preventing a particular "index" disease--for
instance, calcium to prevent osteoporosis or vitamin D to
prevent rickets. However, researchers are now finding that
nutrients are needed to prevent not only short-term disease
but also many of the chronic, long-term diseases that are
now facing the nation.
The "normal" ranges for many nutrients reflect
their ability to ward of short-term disease only and may not
be adequate to protect the body from long-term diseases such
as cancer, heart disease and central nervous system degeneration.
Since these chronic diseases often show up much later in
life, they are commonly attributed to non-nutritional causes.
But, evidence suggests that nutrient deficiencies--even deficiencies
that are viewed as slight by modern medicine standards--may
be the cause of many chronic diseases.
One such nutrient deficiency is vitamin D. It was traditionally
thought that a person had enough vitamin D as long as they
didn’t have rickets or osteomalacia. Nutritional scientists
have referred to 25(OH)D, the functional indicator for vitamin
D, values of <20 nmol/L as "deficient", values
above 80 as "normal," and values in between as "insufficient."
According to the author of the paper in the link below, Robert
P Heaney, "Discerning the extent to which nutrition may
play a role in such disorders [chronic diseases such as cancer,
heart disease and central nervous system degeneration], positive
or negative, is probably the principal challenge facing nutritional
Journal of Clinical Nutrition November, 2003;78(5):912-919