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Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency widespread across South Asia

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: vitamin D deficiency, Asia, health news

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(NaturalNews) Nations far from the equator are not the only ones with widespread vitamin D deficiency. According to a recent report presented at the second annual 1st Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Singapore, vitamin D deficiency is now a widespread epidemic across South Asia, including in countries like India and Pakistan that are relatively close to the sunlight-rich equator.

Dr. Nikhil Tandon, professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, explained the situation to those at the meeting, noting that among all the Asian countries, those in South Asian countries are especially deficient in the crucial vitamin. He also offered insight into some of the possible reasons why this is the case.

"A lack of exposure to sunshine, genetic traits and dietary habits are all factors which influence vitamin D levels," he explained. "In certain regions, vitamin D deficiency can also be attributed to skin pigmentation and traditional clothing, as well as air pollution and limited outdoor activity in urban populations."

Under ideal conditions, humans received adequate vitamin D from their skin being exposed to natural sunshine every day. When this is not possible, food and supplements can help to maintain adequate levels. But apparently those living in South Asia are lacking both sources, which raises disease risk among these populations significantly.

A corresponding vitamin D roundtable held in conjunction with the meeting discussed ways to create interactive vitamin D maps to help illustrate where vitamin D deficiency is most prevalent around the world. The map will use data from an aggregate of 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood tests among populations, helping researchers to identify deficiency patterns and work towards solutions among various nations.

To learn more about the importance of vitamin D for your own health, visit:

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