Vitamin D is one of the most important yet overlooked nutrients in our pets’ diet. Raw diets, natural diets, grain-free diets, specialty diets, and the list continues, but none of them address a huge problem in their nutrition: Vitamin D levels. Here are 5 reasons why you should be testing Vitamin D levels in all of your patients.
- Insufficient and Deficient levels are connected to disease and poor health
- 70% of your patients are likely insufficient or worse (and these are just the apparently healthy ones)
- Sufficient levels are connected to important cellular functions
- It’s easy to identify and correct
- Health starts with nutrition
1. Insufficiency correlates to disease
Low Vitamin D, worse outcomes
There are an increasing number of studies in dogs and cats that show low Vitamin D levels are correlated to disease. From Heart Disease to infections, atopic dermatitis to feline tooth resorption, to kidney disease and cancer just to name a few. Curious what the Body of Evidence shows?
2. 70% of cats and dogs will be insufficient
And that’s just the Apparently Healthy ones
According to a 2015 study out of Tufts University1, over 70% of your patients will be insufficient. This number is staggering when you consider that study was done from a population of healthy animals. Insufficiency is even more likely in the acutely ill patients you are seeing day to day in your clinic. VDI receives samples from apparently healthy animals and those with cancer, GI disease, or other acute disease: From the thousands of tests we run, insufficiency rates are over 80% on first test.
- The effect of diet on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in dogs, Sharp C, et al, BMC Res Notes, 2015
3. Sufficient Levels Improve Cellular Function
Vitamin D is needed for important roles
Vitamin D is a secosteroid with a powerful endocrine function. Calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D, influences or regulates a wide away of cellular functions including calcium homeostasis, cellular differentiation, DNA synthesis, and the innate immune response. Due to it’s role in so many activities, having sufficient levels will improve cellular function, while insufficient levels will leave certain functions under-supported.
4. Easy to identify and correct
Test & Treat is simple and effective
So Vitamin D is crucial to many cellular processes, low levels are correlated to disease, and over 70% of your unsupplemented patients will be insufficient – seems like a solid reason to start testing Vitamin D levels. It’s easy to identify with a simple Vitamin D test and easy to correct with supplementation. VDI provides patient specific dosing guidelines to make it even easier to get your patients to sufficiency. Help more of your patients with a simple Test & Treat
5. Health starts with diet
Vitamin D is just one of the essential vitamins
You’ve probable heard it before, but health begins with diet. Unfortunately the diets we and our pets eat are often low in a variety of minerals and nutrients that are important to our everyday health. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin, meaning it only comes from the pet’s diet. It’s just one of such essential vitamins and many times if it is deficient, then others may be affected as well.
If you can only encourage your client to test one – make it Vitamin D. Even better would be to evaluate more of the important nutrients like: Vitamin B12, Folate, and Magnesium – all of which can be done with the sample blood sample. If you truly believe in the power of a proper diet VDI offers a range of tests that can be ordered individually or in panels, that are important for establishing and adjusting diets.
- Essential Vitamins Panels (Vitamin D, B12, Folate, Magnesium, Total Calcium)
- Fur Mineral Analysis (29 minerals and metals, including 15 nutritional minerals)
- Allergy Testing (125 Allergens, including 72 food parameters)
- Advanced GI Panel – for patients with chronic GI issues that need resolved to improve nutrient absorption.