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Over 40? Get Your Vitamin D Level Checked


I saw a patient last week who had given a copy of her blood work that I ordered to her primary care physician. She is a woman in her late 50's with a very fair complexion, a family history of osteoporosis and is mildly hypertensive. She explained to me how baffled her physician was at my ordering a vitamin D level on her as part of a routine blood work up and told her he was certain vitamin D was not that important and she could get enough by drinking more milk anyway . She got the blood test done despite his objections. Her blood level of Vitamin D was very low and there is just too much good science published about the importance of vitamin D for us to ignore. When Michael Holick's group (the vitamin D guru from Boston University) tested cow's milk for vitamin D levels, only 29% contained between 320 and 480 i.u. of vitamin D per quart. Skim milk had undetectable vitamin D. It is not possible to get enough Vitamin D from drinking milk. You would have to consume 15 glasses per day. The take home message, getting your blood level of Vitamin D measured seems like a prudent and necessary thing to do.