The Nation's Health + [vitamin D]

vitamin D: Does anybody have a normal vitamin D level?

We now routinely check everyone's vitamin D blood level at the start of the program. (The measure to obtain is 25-OH-Vitamin D3. This is not to be confused with 1,25-OH2-vitamin D3, which is a kidney function measure.)

Of the 10 people with levels drawn today, none were even close to normal levels (which we define as 50 ng/ml)--not a single one.

The majority were in the range of severe deficiency (<20 ng/ml). Only two had levels in the 30s. None had higher. (Remember: I'm talking about people in Wisconsin, a terribly sunlight-deprived area much of the year. This might not apply quite as vigorously to Florida residents or others in sun-exposed regions.)

Curiously, I've also seen several people this week who had extraordinary quantities of coronary plaque on their heart scans (scores >1000), all of whom had extremely low vitamin D levels. One of these people had fairly unimpressive lipoproteins, with very minimal abnormalities identified. (This is quite unusual, by the way.) It makes you wonder if a profound deficiency of vitamin D is sufficient to act on its own as an instigator of coronary plaque.

The more we examine the issue of vitamin D deficiency, the more fascinating it gets. I suspect we've just scratched the surface and there's a lot more to learn about this tremendously interesting nutrient. Nonetheless, with what we're seeing in our experience, I'm urging everyone to get a blood vitamin D level.