As consumers take their own health into their own hands, many are opting to have their vitamin D levels tested.
Vitamin D, “The sunshine vitamin” is increasingly found to build the body’s natural defenses against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes, as well as to strengthen bones. So many have had their blood tested for the vitamin.
Now Quest Diagnostics, the largest nation-wide diagnostic laboratory, admits it may have reported erroneous results to thousands of people over the last two years. The questionable results may have surfaced in about ten percent of the test, says the lab’s medical director, Dr. Wael Salameh to Reuters.
He says a chemical in the test created the problem along with inadequate follow-up.
Quest is implementing a retesting program for those patients who have been alerted by letter. No word on how many patients received the letters.
Sunlight exposure is generally sufficient to encourage the skin to manufacture vitamin D, but because of the potential for promoting skin cancers, supplements are recommended. Most supplements already carry the 400 IU level.
New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children receive 400 IU (international units) of daily vitamin D, double the previous recommendations. The new guidelines were published in the November issue of Pediatrics.
For adults the recommendation is at least 1,000 units a day, but those recommendations have not been updated. Double that dose may be more realistic.
And while vitamin D is not plentiful in food, with the exception of egg yolks from chickens fed vitamin D, and certain fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. It can be found in 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil (400 IU) and a quart of milk (400 IU) which is fortified.
Infant formula is also fortified with vitamin d. Breast milk does not contain it. #