I don't tend to agree with a lot of government agency recommendations. Although I fully believe that most of them mean well, they simply aren't well informed and are boxed in on all sides by the interests of money, politics, and other pesky things that tend to get in the way of sorting out fact from fiction.
So imagine my delight when I read that The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force "issued a statement saying vitamin D tests are not needed for everyone."
Admittedly, their approach is based on the fact that there aren't hard and fast "approved" minimum levels of Vitamin D, so there's really not much point in testing. It doesn't really help to know where you stand if you don't know where you want to be, right?
I come from the alternate school of thought which is that nearly everyone could use additional Vitamin D! I won't go into the details here, there's a lot of misinformation going around about how we actually get Vitamin D, and in what quantities. Suffice it to say that the vast majority of us do not get nearly enough. We aren't outside during the peak times of day/year for making it ourselves (or practically at all for many of us), we aren't getting the healthy fats that are so critical to the process, we wear sunscreen... the list goes on.
The Task Force speaks disparagingly about doctors recommending Vitamin D to people without having tests evidencing that they need it, but as Dr. William Wright (more on him in an upcoming post) points out (paraphrasing here), if basic clinical investigation leaves a 95% certainty that an intervention is the correct one and the proposed intervention is not going to be harmful even if it isn't the right one, you don't need to spend crazy amounts of money to rule on that 5% potential error unless or until you've tried the most likely intervention and seen it fail. Common sense, anyone?
So please join me in celebrating the reality that a government agency has actually made a helpful, realistic recommendation to the American public (even if their motivations were a bit misguided)!!