Sunday, September 14, 2008

Equipment accuracy

I had my own bone density scanned on the densitometer that I plan to use for my study. My scan reported that my bones are not very dense at all. My T-score was -1.1. Osteoporosis risk could begin at -1.6. For a 30-year-old woman, this is REALLY BAD. So, I have two problems: either my bones are very weak for someone my age and I need to do something about it, or the equipment that I'm planning to use is not very accurate. I plan to get a more complete DXA scan to test the density of my hip and spine, but in the meantime, I decided to do some research on the accuracy of calcaneal bone densitometers. I found this website: Evaluation of calcaneous bone densitometry against hip and spine for diagnosis of osteoporosis. The study concluded that the equipment is specific--meaning it gives consistent results--which would be the most important factor for research. (comparing pre- and post-study data) but it ultimately concluded that it is best for use in high-risk and low-risk populations because of the cost and availability of a confirming DXA scan. So, I suppose I can conclude that my best hope is to get a follow-up DXA scan and hope for a false heel reading. At least I know that any changes in my readings will be something I can count on for the research.

I also did some searches on the type and dosage of Vitamin D to use. I suppose it will be best to use Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol. D3 is a nutritional supplement although it is not the "active" form of the vitamin (calcitriol). The active form requires a prescription. However, I feel D3 will be great because of the effect it has on overall health. The body's negative feedback mechanism to prevent toxicity respond to levels of calcidiol in the blood (1 step away from calcitriol). Additional calcidiol can be used by the tissues to form a different kind of calcitriol that has other benefits. It is harder to have a toxic level of this compound. I found information on the physiology of Vitamin D on the Vitamin D research website.

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