Vitamin D acts as an essential enhancer of phosphate and calcium homeostasis. Scientists are familiar with the role the hormone plays in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth in vertebrates. As a hormone, it can be synthesized by the skin after prolonged exposure to sunlight. It is also obtained from a wide variety of animal products such as eggs, cheese, and milk.
Lack of hormones causes various deficiencies such as rickets. You cannot easily diagnose its lack without testing for its biomarkers. There are different biomarkers, all of which have atypical actions in the body for which you can test.
How many biomarkers are known?
Out of the more than 50 known Vitamin D metabolites, only a few have been quantified scientifically. As scientists continue to widen the scope of study in this subject, surprising findings have been documented. Some of them include:
The other roles played by the predominant and active form of Vitamin D in the body, which is dihydroxy vitamin D3 [1,25(OH)(2)D3]. A recent study indicates this biomarker – besides controlling calcium and phosphate – regulates the genes that control cell protein-coding, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation.
Another biomarker, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [(OH)(D3)] has been found to influence cancer, cardiovascular disorder, the immune system and its associated disorders.
In the general population, these studies are essential, and Vitamin D sampling in individual and population settings allows scientists to estimate its total supply. Since Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread public health concern, sampling allows scientists to recommend the action needed for various population groups. For example, infants, children, specific ethnicities, and women of reproductive age require different active Vitamin D biomarkers.
Consistent patient monitoring is required to fully document the presence of various biomarkers in different individuals. Previously, this required either home doctor visits or having patients visit a clinic.
A Few Drops of Blood on a Microsampling Device Enable Vitamin Analysis in the Lab
Remote microsampling is a novel alternative that opens new pathways of care, including monitoring of vitamins. It allows patients to collect blood samples at home so research scientists, doctors and other healthcare professionals can easily monitor their health and wellness.
Finger-stick blood sampling at home is a huge improvement over traditional blood sampling methods, which required people to visit a hospital, lab or clinic for blood tests. The remote microsampling trend is making way for new innovations and cost savings and an improved end-user experience.
A remote microsampling device like the hemaPEN® offers a convenient and portable approach to sample collection from a single finger-stick with a lancet. The hemaPEN technology combines capillary sampling with dried blood spot (DBS) sampling in one device. Learn how every hemaPEN delivers 4 precise DBS samples to the lab here and learn how to analyze hemaPEN DBS samples once they arrive in the lab, here.