Vitamin D deficiency: It's contributing factors and prevention
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent across the globe. The most important role of vitamin D is in strengthening the bones. Besides this, vitamin D is likely to be associated with prevention against different types of cancers and chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and stroke as well as osteoporosis. It also has role in preventing many neurological diseases like depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and neuro-degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease autoimmune diseases, birth defects and periodontal diseases.
Main source of vitamin D is sunlight, also called sunshine vitamin. People with old age, dark skinned and obese cannot produce sufficient amount of Vitamin D. Food sources include fatty fish, animal liver, egg yolk and dairy products, though these are poor sources. Vitamin D deficiency is endemic in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka as well as Middle Eastern Countries. Though it’s sunny there all the year round, still the bulk of population is vitamin D deficient due to limited sun exposure in extremes of high temperature and socio religious reasons. Similarly, population in Europe and America are also affected. Pregnant mothers and infants are more at risk. Population at risk should be screened and treated. Appropriate health policies, public awareness, and fortification of dairy products can definitely prevent as well as address this huge burden of disease.
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