Indoor lifestyle & bad diet is leading to Vitamin D deficiency: Tata 1mg study
- Most young people aged below 25 were found to be low on this vitamin, says the study.
- Pediatricians say that this deficiency is common amongst children too.
- Vitamin-D is essential to growth, development, metabolism, immunity, bone health, and mental health.
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The incidence of this deficiency is higher amongst young people aged below 25, where 84% of them were low on this vitamin. In the 25-40 age group, the prevalence was a tad lower at 81%, but much higher than the national average.
“Infants and children under the age of five, pregnant and breastfeeding women, teenagers and young women, people over the age of 65, and those with limited sun exposure are the most vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency,” said Dr Prashant Nag, clinical head, Tata 1mg Labs.
Pediatricians say that this deficiency is common amongst children too. Babies born during and just before the pandemic are the most vulnerable as well as adolescents, say doctors.
“The overall number of children observed to have vitamin D deficiency increased many fold during and after Covid. The majority of children affected by Vitamin D deficiency in relation to Covid were infants and adolescents,” Dr Arvind Kumar, director & HOD - Paediatrics, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, told Business Insider India.
The sunshine we lack
Vitamin-D, which is also known as the sunshine vitamin, is essential to the growth, development, metabolism, immunity, bone health, and mental health of people. Its deficiency has been linked to health disorders such as prostate cancer, depression, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and rickets.
It’s not just lack of sunshine that’s causing the disease but food habits too, according to doctors. “Changing food habits and an indoor lifestyle with inadequate exposure to sunlight have led to a drastic increase in cases of vitamin D deficiency. The much higher prevalence in young adults can also be attributed to lower consumption of vitamin D-containing foods like fortified cereals and oily fish,” said Dr Rajeev Sharma, VP, Medical Affairs, Tata 1mg.
Unspaced and unplanned pregnancies in women with dietary deficits can lead to worsening of vitamin D status in both mother and child, says Dr Sharma. The study also says that the prevalence is higher in men than women.
As per the study, the deficiency is highest in Surat and Vadodara with Delhi NCR having the lowest incidence, with Meerut coming in close. In most of the other cities, the incidence was higher than the national average.
“The human skin hosts a type of cholesterol that functions as a precursor to vitamin D. When exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun, it turns into vitamin D. Having enough exposure to sunlight and consuming foods rich in vitamin D such as egg yolks, oily fish, red meat, and fortified foods can help prevent the deficiency,” said the Tata 1mg report.
Vit-D deficiency in children rose multifold after Covid — here’s how it can affect your child’s mental and physical health
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