Chemists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have announced they are coming closer to developing more reliable standards for measuring vitamin D levels in blood.
Currently, there is no standard laboratory test for measuring vitamin D levels in humans and no agreement on what is considered the optimal vitamin D level.
“No one really knows what methods or assays are correct at this point,” says Dr Mary Bedner, an analytical chemist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“Right now, you can send a blood sample to two different labs and get completely different results for vitamin D,” she adds.
That is why NIST, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Healths Office of Dietary Supplements, began efforts to develop a standard for measuring vitamin D.
The result of their work will be unveiled to the public later this year in the form of a standard that could lead to better prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, rickets and other bone diseases.
The announcement comes after recent studies have found that many Americans are not getting enough vitamin D and are thus exposed to a range of debilitating conditions.
In addition to maintaining bone strength, vitamin D has also been found to promote good overall health, and the deficiency of this nutritional supplement has been linked to a higher risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.