Why should I take this test?

Check for Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is important for maintaining strong healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Many Australians are at risk of vitamin D deficiency due to insufficient sunlight exposure, food intake or related illness.

Manage Vitamin D3 supplementation

Keeping your vitamin D levels in the target range recommended by your doctor will reduce your risk of bone disorders and many chronic illnesses including autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Note: This Vitamin D test is not suitable for infants less than 1 year old. There are some factors that can affect test results such as medications and certain medical conditions – click here for more information. Read and consider all information on this page before making your own decision about whether this Vitamin D test is right for you.

Vitamin D Test Service

$35

Check your vitamin D level. Help monitor your response to vitamin D supplements.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Fingerprick IconFingerprick sample collection kit
Secure IconSecure online results account
Results Tracking IconCustomised results sharing
Reply Paid IconPre-paid sample return
Lab IconLaboratory analysis
Tracking IconTrack your levels over time
Shipping IconFree shipping

Vitamin D Test Service

$35

Check your vitamin D level. Help monitor your response to vitamin D supplements.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Fingerprick IconFingerprick sample collection kit
Secure IconSecure online results account
Results Tracking IconCustomised results sharing
Reply Paid IconPre-paid sample return
Lab IconLaboratory analysis
Tracking IconTrack your levels over time
Shipping IconFree shipping

Why should I take this test?

Check for Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is important for maintaining strong healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Many Australians are at risk of vitamin D deficiency due to insufficient sunlight exposure, food intake or related illness.

Manage Vitamin D3 supplementation

Keeping your vitamin D levels in the target range recommended by your doctor will reduce your risk of bone disorders and many chronic illnesses including autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Note: This Vitamin D test is not suitable for infants less than 1 year old. There are some factors that can affect test results such as medications and certain medical conditions – click here for more information. Read and consider all information on this page before making your own decision about whether this Vitamin D test is right for you.

HOW IT WORKS

Follow these simple steps to get your blood test results without having to go to a pathology centre

 
Step One Device Image

Step 1: Order

Order your test service online and have a collection kit delivered to your door

Step One Prick Finger Image

Step 2: Collect & Return

Collect a simple fingerprick blood sample and mail it back reply-paid to our lab

Step 3: Lab Analysis

Our quality controlled, accredited Australian pathology lab will process your sample

Step 4: View Results

Your results will be delivered via our secure website in a matter of days and you can share them with your GP or others as you wish

What will the Vitamin D test show?

The vitamin D test is a simple, at-home fingerprick dried blood test that measures the amount of vitamin D in your blood and compares your result to the expected vitamin D levels. It can help indicate if you are vitamin D deficient.

The MyHealthTest vitamin D test measures the major form of vitamin D in your body:

  • Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) – the amount of vitamin D in your blood produced from exposure to sunlight, food intake and vitamin D3 supplement intake

The MyHealthTest vitamin D test report contains:

  • Your test result for vitamin D3
  • An indication if you fall below the normal target level
  • Links to key information to help you understand your result

The closer your vitamin D levels are to normal, the lower your risk of developing bone disorders such as osteoporosis and other chronic health conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

If your result is above the level considered normal, it is recommended you take your results to your doctor and discuss the best way to manage your health.

An example of the report can be viewed here.

What can affect my vitamin D test result?

Some factors can affect vitamin D fingerprick dried blood spot levels. These include:

Medical considerations: conditions that affect your red blood cell volume can affect dried blood spot vitamin D results. See our Clinical Information tab for more information.

Medications: some medications may cause changes in your vitamin D level and your doctor will take this into consideration when interpreting the results. More information on this is in the Clinical Information section.

Incorrect sample collection: taking the MyHealthTest at-home fingerprick dried blood spot test is different from taking a fingerprick test with your doctor. It’s important to follow the instructions provided inside the blood collection kit step-by-step. Your test results can be affected by incorrectly collecting your sample. If the spots are not large enough, you may be asked to repeat the test. You’ll also need to pay close attention to the instructions on returning your sample to us.

Should I take the test?

If you do not exercise regularly or do not spend time outdoors, you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. In particular, individuals at greater risk are the elderly, the overweight and the unwell. Vegans and vegetarians may also be at greater risk due to their limited intake of animal products. If you fall into any of these categories you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

In addition, if you have signs and symptoms of bone disease (osteoporosis, osteomalacia or rickets), a bowel condition, dark skin, a kidney disease, a family member with hereditary vitamin D deficiency or are planning to fall pregnant, then the vitamin D test will tell you if your vitamin D level is adequate.

If you are already taking vitamin D supplements and want to track whether these are providing you with an adequate level of vitamin D, this test is right for you. You should do this test no earlier than 3 months after you start taking supplements.

Vitamin D Australia Icon

30% of adults have vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D North South Australia Icon

49% of adults living in southern States are vitamin D deficient during winter

Vitamin D Sun Icon

Most of your vitamin D is from exposure of the skin to sun

Vitamin D Food Icon

Food intake only contributes to 5 – 10 % of your vitamin D

Vitamin D Children Icon

Children with insufficient vitamin D can develop rickets

Vitamin D Bone Health Icon

More women (23%) than men (6%) over the age of 50 have osteoporosis

Vitamin D Time Icon

Darker skinned people require longer sun exposure to achieve healthy vitamin D levels


What is Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is a family of hormones that are essential for the growth and formation of bones. The main function of vitamin D is to help the body absorb calcium. Often called ‘the sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is primarily produced by the body in response to skin exposure to sunlight. It is also found in some foods, including egg yolks, fish and in fortified dairy and breads/cereals and can be taken as supplements.

There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 (ergocalciferol, from plants) and D3 (cholecalciferol, from animals). Vitamin D2 is found in some vitamin D enriched foods and in some vitamin supplements supplied internationally. Vitamin D3 is produced in the body by exposure to sunlight and is the predominant form found in supplements supplied in Australia. Vitamin D2 and D3 are both converted into the active form of vitamin D by the liver and the kidneys.

Some laboratories report vitamin D2 and D3 as individual test results, while others report total vitamin D. The MyHealthTest vitamin D test provides you with results for D3. This is the major form of vitamin D found in Australians and the test recommended by the Royal College of Pathologists Australasia (RCPA).

For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are obtained naturally through regular exposure to sunlight. In summer, most people are able to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors every day.

Vitamin D Deficiency:

Some people who don’t maintain a consistent amount of sun exposure may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

If the level of vitamin D in your blood is lower than normal you may have a deficiency. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Bone pain
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Thinning hair

For many individuals the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may not be obvious, however, low vitamin D can lead to other health complications including:

  • Severe asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Cancer

New research suggests vitamin D might also play a role in the prevention and treatment of:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Glucose intolerance

Causes of Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by:

  • Lack of exposure to sunlight – If you don’t venture outdoors or cover your skin when you do, you may be vitamin D deficient because your skin needs some exposure to sunlight to make vitamin D.
  • Failure to consume adequate vitamin D in your diet – Most of the natural sources of vitamin D are animal based, including egg yolks, fish and fish oils, fortified milk and liver. If you follow a strict vegan diet you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
  • Dark skin – Melanin, the pigment in the skin, reduces the ability to make vitamin D in response to exposure to sunlight. Adults with darker skin may have low blood levels of vitamin D
  • Obesity – Individuals who are overweight with a body mass index of greater than 30 are prone to vitamin D deficiency.
  • Gastric bypass surgery – Individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery may become vitamin D deficient over time, since part of the small intestine where vitamin D is absorbed is bypassed
  • Digestive tract disorder – Vitamin D in food you eat is absorbed through your intestine. Medical conditions including celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease can cause low blood levels of vitamin D
  • Failure of kidneys to convert vitamin D to active form – As people age, their kidneys are less able to produce the active form of vitamin D.

Treatment of Vitamin D deficiency

Supplementation may be recommended for treatment of vitamin D deficiency. Please consult with your doctor to determine if vitamin D supplementation is appropriate for you.

Vitamin D Toxicity:

Although vitamin D is important to maintain good health, too much can lead to vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so unlike water soluble vitamins (eg. B vitamins), the body has no easy way of eliminating it from the body.

The main cause of vitamin D toxicity is taking more than the recommended daily dose of vitamin D supplements. Too much sun exposure or ingestion of vitamin D fortified food is unlikely to cause vitamin D toxicity.

Too much vitamin D causes calcium to build up in your blood. This can cause the following symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Kidney/heart problems

Treatment of Vitamin D toxicity

The immediate treatment for vitamin D toxicity is to stop taking vitamin D supplements. Restricting dietary calcium will also reduce symptoms. Some doctors may prescribe certain medications and intravenous fluid.


How accurate is the MyHealthTest fingerprick vitamin D test?

MyHealthTest’s fingerprick dried blood spot test was developed by researchers from the University of Canberra and uses the gold standard technology for vitamin D testing, LC-MS/MS.

Vitamin D can be accurately measured from a dried blood spot sample and is comparable to testing with traditional blood samples (e.g. having blood taken at a pathology centre).

Can I buy instore?

The MyHealthTest vitamin D test service is available via our webstore. Alternatively, your workplace can choose to offer this test as part of a workplace wellness program (link)

Can I compare my results from other laboratories?

The MyHealthTest vitamin D test is accredited and shown to be comparable to other Australian pathology laboratories. That said, there are many different methods used to test vitamin D and each method can give a slightly different result. This video provides a good explanation: https://www.patientpower.info. It is also important to know that some pathology laboratories report total vitamin D and some, like MyHealthTest, report vitamin D3.

My Vitamin D level is below the expected range. What does this mean?

If vitamin D levels are below the expected range, your bones can become thin and brittle. In older adults, a vitamin D deficiency can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Increasing your sun exposure based on national guidelines and increasing your intake of foods high in vitamin D may increase your levels. If low levels persist please consult with your healthcare practitioner regarding use of vitamin D supplements.

Should I take my vitamin D supplement on the day I use the MyHealthTest Vitamin D Test Service?

You can continue to take your vitamin D supplement on the day you take your sample. Your test result will reflect your current vitamin D blood level while on supplements. We do not recommend discontinuing any medication or supplements without talking to your health care practitioner first.

How much sun do I need to improve my Vitamin D level

Most people obtain adequate vitamin D levels from regular incidental exposure to the sun. For example, spending a few minutes outside on most days of the week.

In winter in the southern parts of Australia spending time outside in the middle of the day with some skin uncovered may be required to boost levels. Being physically active (e.g. gardening or walking) also helps raise vitamin D levels.

The Cancer Council provides guidelines on appropriate sun exposure throughout Australia and when sun protection may be required.

Who should not use this test?

This test is not suitable for children under 1 year old.

If you are taking vitamin D supplements sourced internationally, these may contain vitamin D2 and will not be detected by the MyHealthTest vitamin D test.

If you have further questions, please view our general frequently asked questions

The following information is intended for clinicians, and consumers who want more details about this test.

The MyHealthTest fingerprick dried blood test for vitamin D was developed to improve the access and convenience of blood testing for individuals finding it difficult to present for blood tests as planned, particularly for those with time constraints, who are geographically isolated or housebound due to frailty or illness. The MyHealthTest service empowers individuals to take control of their health and provides them with the information to enable an informed discussion with their healthcare practitioner.

This test provides accurate measurement for detecting vitamin D deficiency and for monitoring and assessing the success of vitamin D supplementation under medical supervision.

The MyHealthTest vitamin D test measures 25-hydroxy vitamin D3.


This test is not suitable for

Measurement of 25-hydroxy vitamin D is the most accurate test to determine vitamin D status in the vast majority of patients. There are a small number of clinical settings where measurement of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D may be necessary. This is the active form of vitamin D, however has little or no relationship to vitamin D stores. In vitamin D deficiency, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels go up, not down. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D may need to be measured in individuals with:

  • renal failure/ end stage kidney disease
  • hypercalcaemia from a granulomatous or autoimmune disorder
  • tumour induced osteomalacia
  • pseudovitamin D deficiency
  • hereditary 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D resistant rickets

This test is not suitable for children under 1 year old as it does not resolve 3-epi-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 from 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.

This test does not detect 25-hydroxy vitamin D2 and may therefore not be a useful measure of vitamin D in individuals taking D2 supplements. In Australia, almost all supplements available are in the form of vitamin D3.

Dried Blood Spot Technology

Vitamin D test results obtained from dried blood spots are comparable to serum samples collected by venepuncture and analysed by the same method (LC-MS/MS), and demonstrate clinically acceptable precision to be used as a tool for screening and monitoring vitamin D levels in blood.

Assay type: Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
Instrument: Agilent 6495 LC-MS/MS
Sample:Fingerprick dried blood spot (DBS)
Measurand:Vitamin D3 concentration in whole blood
Limit of Quantitation:9 nmol/L
Reference Interval:50-200 nmol/L*
  • Vitamin D adequacy: ≥50 nmol/L at the end of winter
  • Mild vitamin D deficiency: 30–49 nmol/L
  • Moderate vitamin deficiency: 12.5–29 nmol/L
  • Severe vitamin D deficiency: <12.5 nmol/L
  • Vitamin D toxicity: >220 nmol/L
Repeatability:4.3% at 50 nmol/L, 3.8% at 113 nmol/L
Stability:14 days
Interferences:This test does not resolve 3-epi-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 from 25-hydroxyvitamin D3
Thermal stability:46°C for 24 hours
*25-hydroxy vitamin D levels decrease in winter so seasonal effects should be considered when interpreting measured levels.

How stable are dried blood spots through the post?

Samples are stable for up to 14 days after collection and thermal stability testing confirmed that after holding dried blood spot samples at 46°C for 24 hours there was no significant difference in the vitamin D values obtained.

What can affect the results?

When interpreting vitamin D test results, healthcare professionals need to be aware that the following common medications may affect results:

  • Corticosteroid medications
  • Weight loss drugs
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Anti-epileptic medications (anticonvulsants)
  • Topical vitamin D creams

Conditions that affect an individual’s red blood cell volume (haematocrit) may affect the fingerprick dried blood spot test. These include:

  • Anaemia (low red blood cell volume)
  • Polycythemia (elevated red blood cell volume)
  • Dehydration
  • Recent blood loss
  • Infection or illness
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiency
  • White blood cell disorder (Leukemia or Lymphoma)
  • Polycythemia vera – a rare disease in which the body produces excess red blood cells
  • Lung or heart disease

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