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FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Vitamin D

Minerals & Supplements for a Healthy Heart

Minerals & Supplements

2. How can I tell if I’m lacking in Vitamin D? I’m concerned because Vitamin D deficiency has been tied to both A-Fib and Dementia. What is a normal level of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important in virtually every tissue and cell in your body. Low blood levels of vitamin D have been associated with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults and cancer.

The production of vitamin D from the skin decreases with age. In addition, people who have darker skin need more sun exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, especially during the winter months. Keep in mind that your Vitamin D level in the summer when you get more sun and UVB is probably higher than in the winter.

Testing Options Ask your doctor for a “25-hydroxy Vitamin D Test”.  (There is another type of blood test for vitamin D, called a 1,25(OH)₂D test, but the 25(OH)D test is the only one that will tell you whether you’re getting enough vitamin D.)

Another option is an in-home Vitamin D test. Find a list of in-home tests providers on the Vitamin D Council website.

What Is an Optimal 25(OH)D Level? Vitamin D deficiency is defined as a blood 25(OH)D level below 20 ng/dL. Normal levels are considered to be above 30 ng/dL. (Some sources consider that ‘optimal’ levels are between 50ng/dL–70ng/dL .)

Sun Exposure and Supplements If you tested low, you need to get more sun exposure and/or take a daily supplement (Vitamin D supplementation is safe and inexpensive). For supplement dosage, see Treatments/Mineral Deficiencies.

Monitoring A blood test is recommended to monitor blood levels of 25(OH)D three months after beginning treatment. The dose of vitamin D may need to be adjusted based on these results.

References for this Article

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements

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