Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium and phosphate it needs to keep your bones and muscles strong and healthy. Vitamin D also provides protection for many diseases including cancer and immune disorders.
The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, and food alone can’t provide the recommended levels. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK with over 30% of adults estimated to be deficient. Wearing sunscreen, not spending enough time outside, and rising obesity are contributing to low vitamin D test results.
Vitamin D deficiency doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when it does these can include brain fog, muscle weakness, unexplained fatigue, bone pain and frequent bone fractures. A low vitamin D test result has also been linked to seasonal depression, impaired immune system functioning, insulin resistance and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that vitamin D is protective against multiple forms of cancer.
Due to cost pressures, Medicare typically only covers a vitamin D test in individuals at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it helps the intestines absorb calcium. Calcium and vitamin D play a critical role in developing and maintaining your overall bone health, and when you don’t get enough you increase your risk of developing osteoporosis and the incidence of stress fractures.
Although called a vitamin, vitamin D (25-OHD) is actually a steroid hormone which is activated by sunshine on the skin. It is essential for bone strength as it helps the intestines absorb calcium.
Your finger prick test kit and all instructions are posted directly to you, and there is no need to visit a collection centre.
You do not need to fast for this blood test.