Have you recently tested your Vitamin D levels but haven’t got a clue what to do with the results?
Or maybe you’re feeling tired, anxious and read online that these could be symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency?
Perhaps you’re looking for a reliable Vitamin D Levels Chart UK to correct a deficiency and feel better.
The truth is, once you know how to interpret Vitamin D levels, you’ll never be in the dark again.
Unfortunately, it’s not always your GP’s highest priority so you need to be proactive and learn how this works.
The good news is this article will show you how. I’ll explain the different Vitamin D levels, what it means and how to understand the results.
I’ll also share the easiest way to test your Vitamin D levels at home, for cheap, how to correct them and feel better.
So stick around and read till the end.
Knowing Your Vitamin D Levels — Why It’s Important?
So why should you care about your Vitamin D levels?
The truth is most people don’t.
They assume it’s all good until one day they feel chronic fatigue or insomnia.
Or suffer from bone pain, sore muscles, premature ejaculation, anxiety and feel depressed.
Then they visit their GP, do a Vitamin test and find out they are deficient.
This is then followed by super high dose tablets or supplements.
You don’t need to go through all that pain and suffering if you try and be a little more proactive.
According to Healthline, close to 1 Billion people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
A report from 2011 shows 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient, with a much higher figure — 69.2% in Hispanics and 82.1% in African-American people.
The British Nutrition Foundation says that about 1 in 5 people in the UK have low Vitamin D levels.
It’s no surprise that Vitamin D is the second most consumed supplement in the UK (after multivitamins).
Costs To NHS
Vitamin D deficiency is not only a painful experience for you but also costs the NHS millions in treatment every year.
Hopefully, you can see why it’s a big deal and the importance of staying proactive.
With that said, let’s get into the meat of this article and understand the Vitamin D level charts.
Vitamin D Levels Chart UK
Now that you know why understanding your Vitamin D levels is important let’s talk about the topic you came here for.
The Vitamin D Levels Chart UK.
nmol/L vs ng/mL
Depending on where you take your Vitamin D test, your results may be in nmol/L (nanomoles per litre) or ng/mL (nanograms per millilitre).
Knowing the difference and conversion will help you understand the remedy.
The conversion is pretty easy.
1 nmol/L = 0.4 ng/mL
- 50 nmol/L = 20 ng/mL
- 75 nmol/L = 30 ng/mL
And so on.
With this equation, you can now effortlessly convert one to the other.
Vitamin D Levels Chart UK – Table
|Vitamin D Level (nmol / L)||Vitamin D Level (ng / mL)||Vitamin D Status||Effects on Health||How To Manage|
|< 30 nmol/L||< 12 ng/mL||Deficient||Rickets (infants, children), Osteomalacia (adults)||High dose Vitamin D then maintenance dose|
|30 - 50 nmol/L||12 - 20 ng/mL||Insufficient||Inadequate for bone and overall health||High dose Vitamin D then maintenance dose|
|50 - 75 nmol/L||20 - 30 ng/mL||Adequate||Healthy||Maintenance dose|
|75 - 125 nmol/L||30 - 50 ng/mL||Optimal||Healthy||None|
|> 125 nmol/L||> 50 ng/mL||Too High||Heart or Kidney Disease, Calcification of Blood Vessels||Reduced Vitamin D, Cofactors|
Understanding The Vitamin D Levels Chart UK
So as you can see the Vitamin D levels chart UK is pretty self-explanatory.
I’ve included the values in nmol/L and ng/mL to make it easier and faster to find out where you stand.
Too low Vitamin D can result in Rickets in children or infants and Osteomalacia in adults.
Osteomalacia means your bones get weak and can lead to Osteoarthritis.
But, too much Vitamin D can cause high calcium levels in the blood (Calcification) leading to heart and kidney disease.
We’ll look into high dose Vitamin D supplements and maintaining Calcium levels shortly.
Your Vitamin D Results — What Do They Mean?
So you’ve seen the Vitamin D levels chart UK above, where do you stand?
If you haven’t taken a test yet but feel some of the deficiency symptoms, please take a Vitamin D blood test right away.
I’ll talk about blood testing shortly but for now, let’s take a look at how to interpret your levels.
Vitamin D levels are measured based on the amount of 25 OH D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) in the blood.
This is a fancy science term for the form of active Vitamin D3 that’s absorbed by your body.
< 30 nmol/L (Deficient)
If your Vitamin D levels fall in this range it means you are severely deficient.
This is the lowest band and you need to see a GP/ improve your levels as fast as you can to prevent bone disease.
Your GP will prescribe a high booster dose of Vitamin D like 40,000–50,000 IU (International Units) per week for a course of 6 – 7 weeks.
Since you’re taking super-high doses of Vitamin D, your GP will recommend a Calcium levels test (just to check for potential toxicity).
High Vitamin D boosters can lead to excess calcium in the blood (which may cause heart or kidney disease).
If that’s fine, you’ll be put on a maintenance dose of anywhere from 800–2,000 IU per day or 25,000 IU per month for around 12–13 weeks.
You should try to stay proactive and not fall into this zone.
It’s expensive not only for your health but also for your pocket.
30–50 nmol/L (Insufficient)
What if you are in the insufficient range?
If you’ve got any bone problems (e.g. pain), your doctor will prescribe a high booster dose of Vitamin D like 40,000–50,000 IU per week for a course of 7–8 weeks.
As in the case of being “Deficient”, this is generally followed by a Calcium check and if that’s ok, a Vitamin D maintenance dose of 800–2,000 IU per day or 25,000 IU per month for around 12–13 weeks is prescribed.
But, if no bone concerns you’ll be put on the maintenance dose right away.
If your Calcium levels are > 2.45 mmol/L they’ll recommend Vitamin D Cofactors Supplement to avoid Calcium toxicity.
50–125 nmol/L (Adequate, Optimum)
If you’ve been proactive, ate a lot of Vitamin D rich foods, got sunlight, took your supplements you should among the lucky few in this range.
In this case, keep doing what you’re doing and maintain your current levels. An annual Vitamin D blood test should keep you in check.
> 125 nmol/L (Too High)
Maybe you’ve been over-cautious and taking more Vitamin D than you should.
High Vitamin D is also dangerous and may cause heart or kidney-related problems down the line.
We talk about how excess Calcium can harm you, at great length in our article on Vitamin D3 and K2 benefits.
If your Calcium levels are high, get a test done and stop any Calcium-containing supplements.
This avoids further aggravating the problem.
I hope this flowchart and explanation helped you understand your Vitamin D test results.
So moving on to testing if you haven’t already, how can you do it?
Testing Your Vitamin D Levels
What are some easy ways to check your Vitamin D levels?
For now, blood tests are the only truly accurate way to test your Vitamin D levels.
Who knows maybe in future we’ll have something easier, advanced, cheaper and faster.
Let’s take a look.
How Can I Check My Vitamin D Levels At Home?
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to check your Vitamin D levels at home is to use a Home Testing Kit.
You need to do a blood test (finger prick) and post the results in a prepaid envelope.
Results are reported via an app where you can store and check results on a monthly or annual basis.
Private Home Testing Kits
Home testing kits have become popular due to their convenience, ease of use and cost.
Companies like LetsGetChecked offer these tests at very competitive prices.
All you need to do is take a finger prick blood test and post the results to the company via a prepaid envelope.
They have labs set up in different locations to analyse and report your results faster.
Results are made available securely via an app.
You can also check the trends over time and make sure your Vitamin D levels are in great shape.
In our other article, we cover 6 tips to find the Best Vitamin D Test Kit UK.
NHS Blood Tests
The traditional way that’s not only free but also has a long wait time is via the NHS.
Based on your age and medical history, the NHS will offer you an annual or so blood test to check your Vitamin D levels.
But, unless you have severe deficiency symptoms it’s hard to get an appointment.
It’s not a proactive approach and with limited resources, we shouldn’t rely on the NHS.
Doing a private Vitamin levels blood test is the best and most proactive way to stay in control of your health.
Raising Vitamin D Levels
In the previous sections, we saw how a GP would increase your Vitamin D levels based on a deficiency.
They will put you a booster dose then a maintenance dose based on your levels.
But what if you want to do it yourself?
Caution: This is NOT the recommended approach if you are severely deficient, in that case, you should visit a GP.
But, if your levels are in the adequate range and you want to boost them to a sufficient range, here what you can do.
This is by far the best and most natural way to get your Vitamin D.
Nothing comes close because this is how we were designed to get it.
How is Vitamin D made by your skin?
Vitamin D3 is made when the UV-B rays from the sun interact with a chemical called 7-Dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) which is already present in your skin.
This produces pre-Vitamin D3 that undergoes complex reactions in your liver and kidneys to produce a bioavailable form of Vitamin D.
Get at least 30 minutes of sunshine a day around mid-day, 3 times a week.
This is because the UV-B rays are strong enough for Vitamin D but don’t cause sunburn or a stroke.
What about winter or when there’s no sun?
It’s time to look at food and supplements.
Consuming Vitamin D rich food will improve your Vitamin D levels to an extent.
But, the Vitamin D concentrations in these foods are tiny and can’t correct a deficiency.
Some foods include
- Egg Yolk
- Liver and red meat
- Fortified milk, juices and cereal
- Oily fish (like salmon, tuna, herring, sardines)
Mushrooms are also a good source of Vitamin D (but they give you Vitamin D2 instead of D3).
I talk more about mushrooms and Vitamin D in my post — do mushrooms have Vitamin D?
Vitamin D supplements are by far the best way to raise your levels besides natural sunshine.
Supplements are available in capsule, tablet, liquid and even spray form.
Find one that suits you best and get a recommendation on the best brand.
Vitamin D supplements are made from Lanolin (which comes from Sheep’s wool).
So if you’re wondering is Vitamin D3 from Lanolin safe? — Yes it is.
Although there are Vegan versions of Vitamin D made from Lichen.
A Word On Vitamin D Cofactors
An important point to note is that if you take high dose Vitamin D supplements, they can increase Calcium levels beyond normal.
Excess Calcium gets deposited in the arteries and kidneys which can lead to heart disease and or kidney stones.
A good way to keep Calcium levels in check is by taking Vitamin D Cofactors.
Vitamin K2, Magnesium, Boron, Omega 3, Vitamin A are 5 of the most important Vitamin D Cofactors.
How Can I Raise My Vitamin D Levels Quickly?
The quickest and safest way to raise your Vitamin D levels is through rigorous supplementation.
After a blood test, your GP will put you on a high Vitamin D booster dose for around 7–8 weeks.
Then a daily or monthly maintenance dose to ensure your Vitamin D levels stay healthy.
This is by far the fastest way.
How Long To Correct Your Vitamin D Levels?
So now you may be wondering.
OK, I’ve done everything possible to boost my Vitamin D levels.
When do I feel better? Do I’ve to take Vitamin D supplements my whole life?
A Vitamin D correction can take anywhere from a few weeks (3–4 weeks) to 6 months to take effect and your levels to return to the healthy range.
It depends on your genetics, supplements you took, absorption, diet, lifestyle and a host of other things.
There isn’t a one size fits all answer (like pretty much most things in the health).
So give it 6 months and retake a blood test to check your levels.
I hope this article helped you understand the Vitamin D Levels Chart UK in far greater detail.
You learnt why it’s important to check your Vitamin levels — it helps you avoid painful deficiency symptoms and save money.
We saw how to interpret Vitamin D results based on the flow chart — understand where you stand and how to correct your levels.
You also now know you can easily and inexpensively test your Vitamin D levels at home using a Home Testing Kit.
Lastly, to boost your Vitamin D levels, make sure to get plenty of sunshine.
Eat Vitamin D rich foods (like egg yolk, oily fish, mushrooms) and take supplements where you feel necessary.
Let’s be proactive, take control and stay accountable.
Your next step,
Join our Vitamin D Fan Club — a private Facebook group.
Here you’ll connect with fellow health lovers and learn all things Vitamin D, all things natural supplements.
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