Vitamin D Assessment
Vitamin D Assessment Project
We are currently facing a vitamin D deficiency epidemic, with an estimated 60% of the population having a vitamin D deficiency. Low serum vitamin D levels have been associated with a number of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, and auto-immune diseases. It is difficult to obtain adequate vitamin D from the diet because there are very few foods that contain appreciable amounts of this essential vitamin. A vitamin D precursor can also be synthesized in the skin, followed by conversion in the liver and kidney to the active vitamin D metabolite. However, many individuals do not get enough sun exposure and certain individuals may have metabolic deficits in the liver or kidney which impair the conversion of vitamin D to the active form. Current tests can detect whether deficiency exists, but they cannot pinpoint the cause. In this project, research focuses on the development of more precise and more accurate analytical methods that use the comprehensive or metabolomic analysis of all vitamin D metabolites to identify the specific metabolic cause of deficiency by distinguishing the different forms of vitamin D. The aims of this project are to develop better assessment technologies for vitamin D status, which will lead to more targeted treatments.