What is Vitamin D? How to Use the Vitamin D Rapid Test Kit?
Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is known for its critical role in maintaining bone health through regulating calcium homeostasis. Moreover, advances throughout the past decades have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating, and pro-apoptotic functions of vitamin D. These findings have further underlined the importance of vitamin D for the overall health of the human body across various systems, including the immune system, the nervous system, and the musculoskeletal system. However, data suggests that vitamin D deficiency is now more common and widespread than ever. According to World Health Organization, around 1 billion people worldwide may have vitamin D deficiency, whereas 50% of the global population has vitamin D insufficiency. Therefore, screening of vitamin D levels in high-risk populations is of prime importance for preventing various conditions affecting the nervous, musculoskeletal, and immune systems. With the development of rapid chromatographic immunoassays, such as our Vitamin-D Rapid Test Kit, checking the vitamin D level has become more accessible, quicker, and more convenient than ever. Read along to learn more about vitamin D, the symptoms of its deficiency, and its determination via the vitamin D rapid test kit.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is the collective name for cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), which are biologically inactive, fat-soluble prohormones with critical roles in the regulation of calcium homeostasis, maintenance of mineral balance, bone formation, formation of immune system responses, and skeletal integrity. Humans can acquire vitamin D through sunlight, diet, or supplements. Among the two major types of vitamin D, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) is of plant origin. Fungi and yeasts primarily produce it in response to ultraviolet irradiation. Thus, it can be found in yeast, sundried or ultraviolet-irradiated mushrooms, and plants. On the other hand, Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) can be synthesized from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin in response to ultraviolet rays present in sunlight, or found naturally in various nutrients of animal origin, which includes fish oils, beef liver, oily fish, egg yolks, and cheese.
How is vitamin D metabolized in the body?
As they are biologically inactive in their initial form, both types of Vitamin D require a two-step hydroxylation for activation. Mainly involving the liver and the kidneys, each of these steps is essential for the function of vitamin D in the body. Following its entry into the circulation, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) is converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in the liver. Also referred to as calcidiol, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is the storage form of vitamin D. During the second step of hydroxylation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is further metabolized into 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] in the kidneys. 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], or calcitriol, is the biologically active form of vitamin D.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms often only appear in the case of a severe and prolonged state of deficiency. While most cases of vitamin D deficiency do not present with noticeable symptoms, significant signs to watch out for include muscle weakness, myalgia, cramps, bone pain, bone weakness, fatigue, excessive sleepiness, depression, and mood changes. Studies also demonstrate that the nervous system disruptions caused by low vitamin D levels may trigger or worsen existing chronic pain conditions. Moreover, severe and prolonged vitamin D deficiency reduces bone strength, which may lead to the development of conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia. Mainly affecting children, rickets is associated with soft bones and skeletal deformities.
On the other hand, osteomalacia may lead to weakness in bones, cause walking problems, and increase the risk of bone fractures. Children and adults diagnosed with these conditions may also experience throbbing bone discomfort, myalgia, muscle pain, and weakness. While efforts are underway to determine whether vitamin D can be used to treat or prevent any of these conditions, vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to many other health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, and even some types of cancer.
How to Use the Vitamin D Rapid Test Kit?
Vitamin D Rapid Test Kit is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the in vitro semi-quantitative determination of the total vitamin D level in human whole blood samples. Coming in a simple and easy-to-use lateral flow format, the test kit incorporates multiple sets of anti-25-OH vitamin D monoclonal antibodies to capture and immobilize 25-OH Vitamin D present in the tested sample. As the processed sample flows on the membrane via capillary action, the first line of colored antibodies form complexes with the 25-OH Vitamin D. As they migrate further along the membrane, these complexes are immobilized by a second line of antibodies, which leads to the formation of a colored line in the test line region (T) and the control line region (C). While the test line indicates the test results, the control line is incorporated as a guarantee of test validity. Therefore, the control line (C) should be present regardless of the test result.
The test procedure is quick and easy to follow with minimum hands-on time. However, applying each step of the procedure as instructed in the included manual is critical to ensure maximum accuracy. In general, the procedure involves the collection of a whole blood sample by the finger-prick method. After collection, the sample is transferred to a tube containing the sample buffer and mixed thoroughly. Next, the kit is removed from its packaging and placed on a flat surface. Finally, a few drops of the processed sample are added to the assigned well on the kit as instructed, and the results are read within the period specified in the manual.
Charoenngam, N., & Holick, M. F. (2020). Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease. Nutrients, 12(7), 2097. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072097
Joshi, D., Center, J. R., & Eisman, J. A. (2010). Vitamin D deficiency in adults. Australian Prescriber, 33(4), 103–106. https://doi.org/10.18773/austprescr.2010.053