Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency in India

Line drawing of fractured hipImage via Wikipedia

Tropical countries, as popularly believed might not be suffering from vitamin D deficiency due to abundance in sunlight. But, that may not be correct. The skin pigmentation effectively blocks ultra-violet rays. That is the scenario in India. Nearly 32% of Indians suffer from vitamin D deficiency, a recent study suggests in a small population. The actual figure might be higher.
In case of heavy melanin pigmentation of body the exposure time to sun need to increase for synthesis of good amount of vitamin D. The lifestyle change in this age also may be a factor in reducing sun exposure time.
Vitamin D causes osteoporosis which is responsible for most of the cases of old age hip fracture. Apart from maintaining good bone health this vitamin is helpful in many other conditions like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, asthma and respiratory tract infection.
Judicious sun exposure in the free source of getting vitamin D. By judicious, I mean, those having sensitive skin should avoid exposure. And exposure to UV rays is linked to different skin cancers. 30 to 40 minutes of sun exposure during intense sun i.e. 11 AM to 3 PM may be sufficient to fetch good amount of vitamin D.
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