Healthy black man smiling depicting vitamin D test cost by The Healthy RD

Vitamin D Test Cost: Is it Worth the Price?

Vitamin D test cost is important to consider because you ideally should check your vitamin D levels on a regular basis.  Clinic and home tests for vitamin D kit prices vary a lot from provider to provider and online companies.  

Some vitamin D tests cost only $10 at a doctor’s office, while others are over $80.  Why are the prices so different?

{Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, so that means when you purchase we make income at no extra cost to you.  We only promote services that provide insight or are helpful.}

Why are costs different for vitamin D tests?

You will find some slight differences in test quality between labs and kits, but here’s a big surprise: much of the differences in cost are services provided. 

Did you know that many vitamin D home test kits are as accurate and sometimes more accurate than the ones at your doctor’s office? 

This is really important right now because many people’s access to their doctor is limited and yet vitamin D testing is the only sure way to know your vitamin D levels. 

Why test for vitamin D?

It is more important than ever to know about your vitamin D status, according to emerging research [R].  

Low vitamin D levels put you at risk for all sorts of health issues, including immune dysfunction like autoimmune disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, obesity, and pain. 

According to Mayo Clinic Lab, vitamin D testing establishes the need for vitamin D supplementation and can prevent under- or over-treating of vitamin D deficiency.

Can I trust home test kits?

There are many home test kits for vitamin D on the market today and many are as accurate as lab draws at the doctor’s office.

This is because the home test kits are often validated and undergo rigorous inspections, such as Imaware. Home tests may even have an as good or better type of testing than some clinics. 

I will teach you what to look for in test kits in this post and at your doctor’s office.

Which test measures vitamin D levels?

The blood marker for vitamin D you want to measure is called 25 hydroxyvitamin D. 

Not to be confused with the 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D test, which is NOT a vitamin D blood marker: it is the hormone called calcitriol. 

Tip: Dietitians and nutrition experts largely agree that nutrients are WAY under-tested at doctor’s offices. 

 

How to get a quality vitamin D test kit

When you get a vitamin D test, whether at the doctor’s office or online, here are a couple of things to look for and even ask your lab technician to provide. 

Clinical chemistry results vary a fair amount depending on the type of test.

For example, the LC/MS test vitamin D value is going to usually be higher than an immunoassay test. This is because it includes both D2 and D3 measurements. 

For a quality test, look for: 

  • Vitamin D testing using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS).  
    • LC/MS is the gold standard for accuracy in vitamin D testing according to research [R]. It is better than immunoassay forms of vitamin D testing. 
  • CLIA approved labs (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) that abide by federal regulatory standards.
  • Total 25 hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3 levels.

By looking for these 3 qualities in a test, you are assured that your test will be accurate and high quality.

 

Vitamin D test cost comparisons/services

Here is a cost comparison of the most common test kits out there. 

The cost of vitamin D3 test kits and lab draws vary a lot.  Keep in mind, a lot of the cost differences are services provided, speed of the test, and shipping considerations. 

Some clinics also tack on phlebotomist fees.  

Imaware 

Imaware vitamin D home test kit by The HealthyRD

Imaware is a vitamin D test kit you can order online.  The benefits of this kit are:

  • Easy to test – a physician-ordered test that you can complete at home within minutes
  • Accurate results – validated and performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory
  • LC/MS testing
  • Easy to understand report – physician-reviewed results that you can understand
  • Biomarkers measured – 25 – hydroxyvitamin D
  • Vitamin D test cost is the most affordable on the market
  • Results in 3-5 days typically

Bonus: you can use your Health Savings Account or your Flexible spending account to pay for any test from Imaware, including Celiac screening, thyroid test, testosterone tests, and cardiovascular tests like lipoprotein (a). 

Test cost $59

Available online. Order here

Included: 1 finger-stick blood kit to screen for Vitamin D

D Action from Grassroots Health

Grassroots Health offers a vitamin D blood spot test that is very accurate. 

GrassrootsHealth provides a vitamin D test as part of their Personalized Nutrient Health platform. The vitamin D blood spot test is very accurate and the system you will be able to use will show you how your/other nutrient information relates to your health and, how your actions/test information is working for you

The benefit of enrollment in this project over others is that you are helping advance the research of vitamin D in action via a longitudinal study of vitamin D and health for you and, for others.

This project is also used and backed by over 25 research facilities and universities across the world. Originating in the United States, this company was founded by the foremost experts in vitamin D research to help increase awareness of the consequences of vitamin D deficiency.

GrassrootsHealth also has some scholarships for free vitamin D testing for special projects. Results take about 3 days to 5 days.

Enrollment in the D*action Project for $65 includes a Vitamin D3 test.
Order here

Included: 1 finger-stick blood kit to screen for Vitamin D

Everlywell

  • Everlywell vitamin D test kit offers physician-reviewed results
  • You can use your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending account to purchase
  • CLIA certified lab
  • The company also offers food sensitivity testing and more.
  • Total cost is $79.00
  • Free shipping and expedited shipping.

Drawbacks: not available in NY, NJ, RI states.

Order on Amazon

Quest and LabCorp

Quest and LabCorp tests can be ordered via blood tests at many medical clinics across the country and the cost will be usually between $69 and $79 per test.

Quest Diagnostics pricing is pretty competitive at most doctor’s offices. 

Did you know that many clinics vary the price a lot for the same test?  This is because the markup and overhead costs amp up the costs a lot sometimes as well as various services provided. 

 For example, a common lab test will cost $85 and up at a clinic.  Then, your insurance companies may not even pay for it.  

The Vitamin D test with Quest Diagnostics will provide 3 measurements. The Total Vitamin D 25-hydroxy, D2 and D3 levels. If you choose LabCorp it will only include the Total Vitamin D 25-hydroxy level. 

Test results may take 2-3 business days.

Personal note: My naturopath checked my levels through Spectra labs for only $10. This goes to show you how many clinics are marking up the costs!

My Lab Box

My Lab Box offers vitamin D test kits and also kits for various lab testing, such as STD testing and fertility test kits.

Perks:

  • free shipping and uses LC/MS testing
  • CLIA lab
  • The fastest vitamin D test out there according to the website.
  • As accurate as blood draws at your local lab

Drawbacks:

Vitamin D test cost is much higher than the other home vitamin D test prices.

Vitamin D test price $89.00

Order lab test here

 

Who needs testing for vitamin D? 

There are some conditions that make you more likely to need extra vitamin D supplements and vitamin D monitoring with blood tests or finger spot tests for vitamin D will help guide your need. 

One of the key findings that GrassrootsHealth published in 2011 was that for each vitamin D intake, the relation between that intake and the resultant serum level varied by a factor of 6.

So for example, a person taking 4000 IU/day might end up with 20 ng/ml or 120 ng/ml, very dependent on individuals. A ‘fixed’ intake is not recommended.

Part of the suffering of various illnesses can be caused by a lack of vitamin D.  

These can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Bone loss or osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Depression symptoms
  • Poor absorption of food, such as with gastric bypass surgery
  • Hormonal conditions like thyroid disease
  • Have more skin pigmentation
  • Older adults, young adults, and everyone in between can be low in vitamin D

 

Lifestyle factors may also increase your vitamin D requirements, including: 

  • Low sun exposure or avoiding the sun
  • Working indoors
  • Poor diets and processed diets
  • Using sunscreen
  • Living in Northern climates
  • Don’t eat vitamin D rich foods like wild-caught salmon or sardines
  • Don’t take a vitamin D supplement

 

Vitamin D helps regulate hormones, is key in immune response, and even helps the body make insulin.  

Low levels of vitamin D can cause inflammation, pain, muscle weakness, and sad mood in many people.  If you don’t have enough vitamin D, your wounds may be slow to heal, you may feel fatigued, low in energy, and general malaise. 

You can see why it is really important to get your vitamin D levels checked and rechecked to know if you are maintaining a good level. 

 

Vitamin D blood test processing time

If you are getting your blood drawn at a local lab, they can have results within 24 hours, but they may send your blood sample out.  

In this case, it can be several days before you get your results.  

The same is true for vitamin D home test kits:  the time it takes depends on how many samples the company is testing and how long your shipping takes. 

Preparing for a test

You don’t need to do anything to prepare for your vitamin D lab test.

No fasting is required.

I recommend washing your hands first and the instructions guide you through clean technique.

What do my results mean? 

The normal range of 25 hydroxyvitamin D and the ideal range of 25 hydroxyvitamin D are different. 

How to interpret your vitamin D lab test

While you don’t want to get too much vitamin D in your body, the risk of too little vitamin D is much greater and much more common than previously thought. 

According to the Endocrine Society, you want to have your 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/ml while current research, according to Grassroots Health, shows that blood levels are ideal between 40-60 ng/ml. 

The toxicity of vitamin D is rare. This usually happens when blood levels of vitamin D3 exceed 150 ng/ml. This is rare and the level at which it may happen is 250 mg/ml or above.

At this point in time, GrassrootsHealth does not have data that shows a non-clinical use of vitamin D should get that high unless the person has some preexisting problem.

 

How to get vitamin D? 

You found out your blood levels of vitamin D are low.  Now what?  You probably are wondering if supplementing vitamin D2 vs D3 matters.  It does matter. 

Vitamin D3 is obtained primarily from the sun, but if you have low levels, you may need a supplement of cholecalciferol also known as vitamin D3. 

Cholecalciferol aka vitamin D3  is the preferred form over vitamin D2, which is less effective.  

When you take a vitamin D3 supplement, make sure to take it with a meal that has fat because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is about 20-35% more absorbed.

You can also try a vitamin D lamp, which gives the same UVB that you get from sunlight.  You can find a vitamin d light here as aSperti vitamin D lamp.

Keep in mind, happy lights don’t usually give you vitamin D unless they specifically are UVB.

Can you get vitamin D from a tanning bed?  

If the tanning lamp has UVB.

This is because most tanning beds use UVA radiation instead of UVB. 

You can check your tanning facilities to see what kind of lamps they use. 

 Suntrex D3™ is a natural vitamin D3 supplement formula that boosts the immune system, assists with calcium absorption, promotes brain health, and more.

How much vitamin D do people need?

We are all unique, and so are our vitamin D needs. 

 A general rule of thumb is that vitamin D Intake of 4000 IU/day was the ‘upper level’ by the Institute of Medicine, but 10,000 IU/day was considered the ‘No Observed Adverse Effect Level’.

The vitamin D intake should be determined by what it takes to get to an ideal serum level.  There is a calculator on the Grassroots Health website to help you determine this.

Sun exposure during the middle of the day can give you as much as 10,000-25,000 IU. This is from each time you get a change in your skin color from exposure as a point of reference [R].

Some medical conditions may benefit from quite large doses as shown in the Coimbra protocol by Dr. Cicero Coimbra. 

However, this type of vitamin D dosing should only be done under the close supervision of your doctor. 

 

What is an IU?

Vitamin D amounts are usually listed as IU on the label, which stands for international units.  An IU is a very tiny amount.

  • To convert an IU to mcg, consider that every IU is only 0.025 mcg.  So, 2000 IU of vitamin D is equal to 50 mcg of vitamin D.
  • Be Label Wise has a convenient calculator for you to use as well. 

Vitamin D test risks

Like other lab tests, there is a very slight chance of:

  • excessive bleeding
  • lightheadedness
  • bruising
  • infection 

To avoid infection, make sure to cleanse the area before and after testing. 

Summary

Vitamin D does more than protect your bones.  It can reduce inflammation, help your immune system, reduce disease risk, and may reduce joint pain. 

The best way to know if you are getting enough vitamin D is to check your vitamin D levels routinely. 

A vitamin D test cost certainly is small relatively speaking

This is because a vitamin D test costs a minimal amount compared to the potential health risks of having too low of vitamin D in your body. 

When you test your vitamin D levels, make sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider about how best to optimize your vitamin D levels. 

The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice. Always seek advice from your doctor when making any changes to your healthcare regimen. 

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