Vitamin D Testing
Vitamin D Sufficiency Important for Cellular Health:
Vitamin D is not a simple vitamin, but the precursor to the active hormone 1,25VitD. Well understood for its role in calcium homeostasis, vitamin D is recognized for its role in gene regulation and the maintenance of cellular health. VitD diagram Many tissues have vitamin D receptors and will locally convert 25VitD to 1,25VitD. Low stores of vitamin D are associated with a wide range of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, infection, and kidney disease.
Unlike humans, dogs and cats do not produce vitamin D from sunlight; their sole source of vitamin D comes from their diet. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D varies significantly by commercial pet food manufacturer. Further, intestinal absorption varies significantly from dog to dog, and by intact status. Expanding models of vitamin D have generated new terminology of "Deficiency", "Insufficiency", and "Sufficiency" to define the protective effect that increasing stores of vitamin D have against disease. Testing for 25(OH)D, the primary store of vitamin D, is your best means to objectively measure this important analyte. When found inadequate, dietary supplementation is warranted.
Increased Risk for Disease:
Cancer is an immune dysfunction disease. Aberrations to the cell's genes cause uncontrolled growth, and a dysfunction to the immune process prevents the destruction of the aberrant cells. Inflammation, both a precursor and a propagator of cancer genesis is, in part, controlled by vitamin D. Studies have shown that with adequate stores of vitamin D, inflammation is reduced. Further, low stores of vitamin D are associated with a wide range of benign and malignant diseases.There is a growing body of evidence that low stores of vitamin D are associated with a wide range of diseases in dogs and cats: