Order Guide: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone metabolism, and regulation of the immune system, with possible roles in protecting against cancer, heart disease, auto-immune disease and depression. Vitamin D supplementation has been demonstrated to be associated with a lower risk of overall death.  Approximately 1 in 3 Canadians have levels below 50 nmol/L, with higher rates of low levels in the winter months (40% below normal levels). 
Vitamin D is made through exposure to sunlight - specifically through UVB exposure. Other sources of vitamin D include fish like salmon, mackerel and fortified beverages (i.e. cow’s milk or some types of fortified almond milk).
The following is a list of the most common foods containing vitamin D. Many of these items do not have
- Soy Beverage (enriched)
- Milk (all types)
- Cod Liver Oil
- Orange Juice (fortified)
- Egg Yolk
- Cancer - many studies have found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and higher rates of cancer, specifically colorectal cancer. Higher levels seem to reduce the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer, with supplementation within recommended guidelines.
- Heart Disease - an important study, the Framingham Heart Study found that patients with low vitamin D had a 60% higher rate of heart disease than those with higher levels.
- Hypertension/Diabetes - higher levels of vitamin D have correlated with better glucose control
- Fracture and fall risk - lower vitamin D levels are correlated with a higher rate of fracture and falls and is responsible for muscle weakness
Osteoporosis Canada recommends adults 19-50 require 400-1000IU Vitamin D daily. Those over 50 should receive 800-2000IU daily.
Choosing Wisely guidelines do not recommend routine screening for everyone for vitamin D levels. For individuals at higher risk of low vitamin D (i. obesity, dark skin colour, a history of osteoporosis, malabsorption disorder, age > 70 or limited mobility) screening is recommended. However, we believe everyone should have access to testing their Vitamin D levels.
TeleTest currently only offers vitamin D testing as an uninsured test. If you have a history of osteoporosis, osteopenia or are on a medication that affects vitamin D absorption like some seizure medication, vitamin D can be obtained as an insured test and we would recommend going to a local clinic for an insured requisition.
 Autier P, Gandini S. Vitamin D supplementation and total mortality: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:1730–7