A few weeks back I discussed vitamin D, and how vitally important it is to our short and long-term health.
If you remember that article, you’ll know I said the only way to be sure if you are deficient in vitamin D, is to have your blood levels tested, using the 25(OH)D blood test.
I honestly cannot say how easy is will be to get your doctor to test your vitamin D levels. Sadly, many do not yet realize just how important this testing is to your health.
But, there are alternatives to your local GP, and one of those alternatives is the Grassroots D-Action Project.
The Grassroots project is an international public health program, which endeavors to end the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. As far as I am aware, they accept participants from all countries. Personally I had no issues joining the program, and getting the test sent from the US to the UK.
The Grassroots project are sponsoring these blood spot test kits for around $60.00 each test.
Basically, all you need to do is register, fill in a short health questionnaire, send them your payment, and they will then post out your test kit, which you post back to them to be analyzed, after you’ve provided the blood sample.
If you think this is too much hassle, I urge you to re-consider, and take this step towards improving your long-term health.
Making sure your vitamin D levels are at an optimum is one of the most important things you can do for your health. As a fellow colleague at Health Central, Dr Davis, says,
If you’re worried about adding to rising healthcare costs by adding yet another blood test, think of all the money that could be saved by sparing you from a future of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, etc. The cost of a vitamin D blood test is relatively trivial.
You may be wondering why Grassroots are offering this test to everyone willing to take it.
Well if you participate, your results will be used as part of their 5 year study, which they will then evaluate, and as a result, create a long-term plan for public health.
I think it’s a wonderful program, and I’m really happy to be doing a little something to spread the word about the importance of vitamin D.
Getting My Vitamin D Levels Tested
I received my own test kit a few weeks ago, and decided to get the test sent off before I leave to go on holidays tomorrow. Living in the UK means that my sun exposure has been limited, especially throughout autumn and winter months, so I didn’t want to skew my results by testing after a week in sunny Crete!
Here is my test kit…
Here is my blood sample…
The test is very easy to do, but I had a bit of a problem getting enough blood to flow from my finger (as you can see from my sample in the picture above!). I had to use the lancet twice, which isn’t painful, but it’s mildly inconvenient.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I got enough blood onto the collection spot, as a result. They say it needs to be at least a 1/4 of an inch wide, and mine was borderline that mark. I have posted it off anyway, as I can’t do anything else about it now. Hopefully it will be acceptable.
Don’t Neglect Vitamin D: It’s Vital To Your Health
Anyway, the reason I’m sharing this with you, is that I hope it will cause you to think again about the importance of vitamin D, and maybe even encourage you to join the Grassroots program, and have your blood levels tested, too.
All I can say is, the more I learn about the benefits of vitamin D, the more excited I become about its potential to improve our health long-term.
When I get my results, I will let you know what they are. I’m pretty sure I will be deficient, though, since I normally don’t get outside until after 3pm each afternoon, but by that time there is often some cloud cover. So, I’m probably not staying outside long enough, to top up my vitamin D levels each day.
I will know more when I get my results back, and then will be able to set out a better plan for boosting my vitamin D levels. I’ll keep you informed!
Anyway, I have high hopes of some delightful sunshine in Crete for the next 7 days… it’s great to know that that will be so good for my health :-)
You can find out more about vitamin D deficiency by reading my article.
Would you consider taking the vitamin D blood test?