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Assessing vitamin D status

Heaney, Robert P.

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: September 2011 - Volume 14 - Issue 5 - p 440–444
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328348ed85
Assessment of nutritional status and analytical methods: Edited by Dwight E. Matthews and Marinos Elia

Purpose of review To characterize methods evaluating and to summarize studies linking various serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations with health status.

Recent findings Elucidation of the cell-biologic mechanism of vitamin D action, and numerous clinical trials and observational studies relating vitamin D status to health and disease.

Conclusion The distinction between deficiency and insufficiency is not useful or necessary. Serum 25(OH)D values below 120 nmol/l (48 ng/ml) are associated with preventable disease and are therefore indicative of deficiency. The upper limit of the normal range can be set at 225 nmol/l (90 ng/ml), although toxicity is rare below 500 nmol/l (200 ng/ml).

Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Correspondence to Robert P. Heaney, MD, Creighton University Medical Center, 601 N. 30th Street, Suite 4841, Omaha, NE 68131, USATel: +1 402 280 4029; fax: +1 402 280 4751; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.