Pet Vitamin D Testing
Vitamin D Sufficiency Important for Cellular Health:
Vitamin D is not a simple vitamin but the precursor to the active hormone 1,25VitD. Well understood for its role in calcium homeostasis, vitamin D is recognized for its role in gene regulation and the maintenance of cellular health. VitD diagram Many tissues have vitamin D receptors and will locally convert 25VitD to 1,25VitD. Low stores of vitamin D are associated with a wide range of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, infection, and kidney disease.
Unlike humans, dogs and cats do not produce vitamin D from sunlight; their sole source of vitamin D comes from their diet. At the Integrative Veterinary Center of Richmond, recent studies have shown that vitamin D varies significantly by commercial pet food manufacturers. Further, intestinal absorption varies considerably from dog to dog and by intact status. Expanding models of vitamin D have generated new terminology of “Deficiency,” “Insufficiency,” and “Sufficiency” to define the protective effect that increasing stores of vitamin D have against disease. When found inadequate, dietary supplementation is warranted.