In land of sunshine, Indians suffer Vitamin D deficiency ?

I am living in Norway and most of the time Indians here say that we Indians don't have any problem related to Vitamin D deficiency as we are from land of sunshine. Later I read something and realized they are partly correct. So here, I want to highlight the following which is not very well known.Indians in most part of the country suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.

Yes, in the land of plentiful sunshine (which makes this vitamin in the body), we suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. In short, it’s right to say that people of both north and south India suffer from this deficiency, in many cases even poor bone health.

One big reason: lack of calcium in the diet. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium in the body. Indian doctors who’ve studied this say in

- rural India, due to exposure to sun, Vit-D levels are good in the body but calcium intake is poor

- urban India, due to better diet, calcium levels in the body are sufficient but Vitamin D level is poor. Blame it on long indoor hours (often under air conditioner) and inadequate exposure to sun.

The causes:
 Indoor confinement during the day
 Darker skin pigmentation
 Use of sunscreen
 Poor intake of calcium
 Low maternal levels of vitamin D
 Vegetarian diet as vitamin D occurs only in foods of animal origin
 Living at higher altitude
Preventive measures:
 Direct exposure to sunlight, at least 30 minutes/day
 Good calcium intake (equivalent to 1 litre of milk)
 Artificial fortification of dairy products or infant foods
 Supplementation to lactating mothers
 If on supplements, check for optimum dosage

So recommended Calcium intake is :

  • Babies( between 0 and 6 months ) - at least 210 milligrams of calcium/day.
  • Kids( between 7 months and 1 year )- 270 mg/day
  • Children( between 1 and 3 year)- 500 mg/day
  • Children( between 4 and 8 year)- 800 mg/day
  • Children( between 9 and 13 year)-1300 mg/day
  • Adults( between 19 and 50 )- 1000 mg/day
More facts :
- Calcium source : Milk is actually only one of many sources of calcium—dark leafy green vegetables and some types of legumes are among the other sources.
- 100 gm milk has 120 mg of calcium.
- Skimmed cow's milk contains slightly more calcium than full-fat milk because calcium is found in the watery part, not the creamy part.
- If you are taking a supplement to get your daily calcium make sure you are also taking magnesium with it.Magnesium is the transport that brings the calcium to your cells. The ratio of magnesium to calcium should be 2:1. In other words if you are taking 1200mg of calcium you should also be taking 600mg of magnesium for a complete solution.
- While skimmed milk is a perfect health drink for adults and is excellent as part of a fatcontrolled diet, it should not be given to children under five because of its low calorie, fat and vitamin content.
- Soya milk has long been regarded as the healthy alternative for those who are intolerant to lactose - the sugar found in cow's milk.
- For adults,Reaching 1,200 milligrams per day would usually require drinking two to three glasses of milk per day—or taking calcium supplements—over and above an overall healthy diet.


Blog Archive