Vitamin D and Inflammation Test
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Inflammation is an important part of the body’s defences against harmful invaders and is usually a temporary reaction caused by infection or injury. However, chronic inflammation that does not resolve can increase your risk of heart disease. People with low vitamin D tend to have higher levels of inflammation, potentially due to vitamin D’s effects on the immune system. Use this home test to check if your vitamin D levels are adequate, as well as for a marker of inflammation in your body known as C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a protein produced by the liver that is a common marker of inflammation. This highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test can detect low levels of inflammation that can indicate a risk of heart disease.
Test method: Finger prick test
What do we test for?
CRP stands for C-reactive protein, a type of protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation in the body. It is a biomarker commonly used in to assess the level of inflammation present in the body. When inflammation occurs due to infection, injury, or certain diseases, CRP levels in the blood increase rapidly.
About Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that plays a role in calcium and phosphate absorption in the body. Most vitamin D is produced by the human body itself. This happens when your skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D can also be found in a number of foods of animal origin, such as egg yolks, fatty fish, and dairy products. Vitamin D can also be found in mushrooms and fortified foods. Vitamin D plays an important role in your body. It ensures the growth and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, ensures the functioning and recovery of your muscles, and promotes proper functioning of your immune system.
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About the test
Why measure vitamin D and hs-CRP?
Research suggests that vitamin D is related to inflammation levels in the body. Low vitamin D levels are associated with higher CRP, potentially due to vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory effects and role in the immune system. Furthermore, some research has found that low vitamin D is associated with heart disease only in individuals with high CRP. Measuring both vitamin D and hs-CRP can help indicate whether inflammation is (partly) due to insufficient vitamin D in the body.
What’s in the test kit?
This test kit contains instructions for use, lancets to collect a few drops of blood, a blood collection tube, alcohol wipes, band-aids, a protective transport bag and a return envelope to send your sample to our certified medical laboratory.
Summary of Biomarkers
This test measures the level of vitamin D and C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood. CRP is a protein that the liver makes in response to inflammation in the body. Acute inflammation and high CRP can be caused by different conditions, including but not limited to:
- Chronic illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, hypertension, and pelvic inflammatory disease
- Infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus
- Autoimmune conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease
CRP is also a good indicator of cardiovascular health, as inflammation in the body also affects the vessels of the heart. Research has found that even low-level increases of CRP over time are associated with risk of heart disease, including heart attack. This low-grade inflammation cannot be detected by a traditional CRP test, and may not cause noticeable symptoms like what may occur during acute inflammation. A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test is able to detect low levels of CRP that are one indicator of heart disease risk, particularly in people with family history of heart disease or stroke. A hs-CRP test can measure markers of inflammation in the body, but cannot indicate what is causing the inflammation or where it is occurring.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that plays a role in calcium and phosphate absorption in the body. Most vitamin D is produced by the human body itself. This happens when your skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D can also be found in a number of foods of animal origin, such as egg yolks, fatty fish, and dairy products. Vitamin D can also be found in mushrooms and fortified foods.
Vitamin D plays an important role in your body. It ensures the growth and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, ensures the functioning and recovery of your muscles, and promotes proper functioning of your immune system.
Low-grade chronic inflammation generally does not cause immediately noticeable symptoms, but may cause:
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues
- Skin rashes
People who suffer from vitamin D deficiency often experience the following symptoms:
- Mood changes, such as depression
- Hypersensitive or bleeding gums
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain, tremors or cramps
- Weakened Bones (Osteoporosis)
Tip: for more information about a vitamin D deficiency, read our blog Vitamin D deficiency: symptoms and treatment.”
What will my test results tell me?
Your results of this test will tell you the level of CRP and vitamin D in your blood and whether they are low, normal, or high.
If your vitamin D levels are low, you can incorporate diet and lifestyle changes that can increase vitamin D in your body. These include increasing exposure to sunlight and eating foods rich in vitamin D. Click here to read more about vitamin D and the best sources of vitamin D.
CRP can be elevated for many reasons, some of which are temporary and no cause for concern. If your CRP levels are elevated, you may consider repeating the test after a (few) month(s) or so to see if the cause of the inflammation has resolved itself. The results of this test come in a downloadable PDF that you can take to your GP and discuss potential next steps.
CRP is only one aspect of heart disease risk and must be considered along with other factors like cholesterol levels (total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides), blood sugar, blood pressure, smoking status, and diabetes. If your hs-CRP level is high, it does not definitely mean you have a higher risk of heart disease. Your healthcare provider will assess your personal risk and recommend other tests, medications, or lifestyle changes as needed.
How soon will I receive the results of this test?
As soon as you have taken your sample and then sent it to our laboratory, it should take a few working days to receive your test result. As soon as your test kit arrives at the laboratory, you will receive a notification by email. Once your test result is ready, you will receive a text message and an email with a link to your result. We will therefore keep you well informed throughout the entire testing process!
How does it work?
Order your test
Activate and take your sample
Receive your test result
Frequently asked questions
Who should consider doing this Vitamin D and Inflammation Test?
An hs-CRP test may be most useful for people who have an intermediate risk of heart disease, or a 10% to 20% chance of having a heart attack within the next 10 years. The results of this test alone will not provide a complete picture of your heart disease risk, and will be assessed along with other factors like age, cholesterol levels, family history, and blood sugar by your doctor.
How can you reduce inflammation?
Chronic inflammation cannot always be prevented, but the following tips can help combat it:
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna), fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil. Limit fried foods, refined carbohydrates (white bread, cookies), and simple sugars (candy, soda).
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Get regular exercise.
- Quit or avoid smoking.
- Manage stress by making time for relaxing activities such as yoga or meditation.
- Limit alcohol intake.
Can I also check the value of other vitamins or minerals?
This test only measures vitamin D levels in blood. If you would also like to test for other vitamins, we recommend that you opt for our Vitamin Deficiency Test. In addition to vitamin D, this test also measures folic acid and vitamin B12 levels in the blood.
How reliable is this vitamin D test?
The sensitivity and specificity for this blood test is almost 100%. Sensitivity is the ability of a test to correctly identify test users with a disease. Specificity is the ability of a test to correctly identify test users without the disease.
What percentage of the population is vitamin D deficient?
It is estimated that 30-60% of the population is vitamin D deficient in Western Europe, particularly in the winter months. This is due in part to a climate that does not have much sunlight in the winter months and a lifestyle in which people are not outside for extended periods of time daily.
What causes vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is most often caused by inadequate exposure to sunlight or a diet lacking Vitamin D rich foods. Vitamin D supplements can help in case of a vitamin D deficiency. It is also possible to have a vitamin D level that is too high, usually from excessive use of supplements. To learn more, read our blog “How much vitamin D is too much?“.
How much vitamin D do you need daily?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for most people is 10 micrograms. The safe upper limit for vitamin D has been set at 100 micrograms per day. Some individuals need more vitamin D than they can get from sunlight or food. People with a dark complexion, young children and pregnant women benefit from an additional 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. Elderly people are recommended to receive an extra 20 micrograms per day (Voedingscentrum).
Can you recommend what I should do if my CRP levels are high?
As a test provider, Homed-IQ is only able to report test results and is not authorized to provide medical advice. Please take the laboratory report from your test to your doctor to discuss the meaning of the results and potential next steps.
What does it mean when your blood test shows inflammation?
A blood test that showed elevated CRP levels indicates there is inflammation somewhere in your body. The test result does not indicate where the inflammation is coming from. If your test results show inflammation, consider repeating the test in a few months or speaking with your doctor if further testing is needed to determine the cause.
What causes inflammation?
Inflammation can be caused by a variety of things. Acute inflammation is usually caused by injury or infection in your body. Chronic inflammation is often caused by:
- Autoimmune conditions, in which the body attacks healthy tissues
- Untreated acute inflammation, such as from an infection
- Exposure to toxins, like pollution
- Lifestyle factors like obesity, drinking large amounts of alcohol, smoking, chronic stress
How do you know if you are deficient in vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency may have no noticeable symptoms, but is often indicated by symptoms of fatigue or muscle cramps. Other symptoms can also occur, such as;
- Hypersensitive or bleeding gums
- Pain in joints
- Muscle pain
- Weakened bones
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to damage of body tissues, such as an infection or physical trauma. The pain, swelling, and redness that occurs during an injury or illness is called acute inflammation, and is part of the body’s efforts to fight off pathogens and repair tissue damage in order to restore balance. Most people have experienced this after burning themselves, twisting their ankle, or getting stung by a bee. Acute inflammation usually resolves itself within a few hours or days as you heal.
What is chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation may start due to an injury or illness, but can become a persistent state if your body continues to produce an inflammatory response even if there is no danger present. Autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis can cause your body to react to its own tissues as if they were a foreign invader, producing inflammation against them. An unhealthy lifestyle that includes smoking, stress, lack of exercise, weight gain and alcohol consumption can also cause chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation may not produce immediately noticeable symptoms and can exist at low levels for a long time.
Has this vitamin test been reviewed by a doctor?
Our self-sampling tests are scientifically certified and validated for home use. The tests have been validated by our lab to see if the results of finger prick samples taken at home are as accurate as samples taken in a testing center or doctor’s office. It is only allowed to sell validated medical tests.
Each sample is processed in a laboratory that is ISO15189 certified, which allows us to guarantee the reliability of the tests.