How can I tell if I might have a vitamin D deficiency?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The sternum thumb test may indicate if you are getting enough vitamin D. This vitamin is crucial when it comes to activating your immune system. It helps to keep the “guards” of your immune system alert. Vitamin D is also important for bone and muscle health. Though there are many dietary sources of vitamin D, it has been estimated that 90% or more of our required vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight.

All you need for the sternum test is your thumb. Take your thumb and press it against your breastbone, which is your sternum. You can also press on your shinbone as an alternative.

If it feels tender or if it hurts when you press down, you may have a vitamin D deficiency.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Vitamin D

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.