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Why Indian women are more likely to have a Vitamin D deficiency

Indian women, especially those who belong to lower socio-economic groups, have a Vitamin D deficiency and are at risk of bone damage and diabetes, says a new study.

fitness Updated: Jul 04, 2018 14:57 IST
Soma Das
Soma Das
Press Trust of India
Vitamin D,Health,Wellness
A large number of the world’s population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency because we’ve stopped spending time outdoors.(Shutterstock)

Women in India tend to have a vitamin D deficiency, especially those belonging to lower socio-economic groups, say researchers. Vitamin D deficiency is a serious concern in India, as shown by an earlier ASSOCHAM study that showed that 8 in 10 people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency in Delhi.

The new study, conducted by Fortis C-Doc in association with AIIMS, Diabetes Foundation of India and National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation, sheds light on the relationship between low vitamin D and high-blood glucose levels in Indian women who are in the pre-diabetic stage.

The findings also show that post-menopausal women, who suffer from low calcium deposits in addition to low vitamin D levels, are at a higher risk of bone damage than others. Previous studies established a link between the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and abdominal obesity, and how diabetic patients have lower levels of vitamin D.

“However, the relationship between vitamin D and the development of pre-diabetes — with a special focus on women — has remained obscure and unexplored. In India, there is a need to understand this as women have a propensity to be obese, develop metabolic syndrome, consequent hyperglycaemia, and thereby be at the risk of diabetes,” said Anoop Misra, chairman Fortis C-Doc.

Lower levels of vitamin D can put you at risk of dementia. ( Shutterstock )

Here are the findings of other studies on Vitamin D deficiency:

* It can put you at risk of dementia.

A study done by Austrian researchers said that people with more exposure to sunlight, a major source of Vitamin D, had lower risk of dementia. In 2014, a research claimed patients with a deficiency of Vitamin D were “substantially” more at risk of developing the condition.

* It can reduce cholesterol in children.

A study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland found that high vitamin D levels are linked to lower cholesterol levels in children. Another study had found that children who received higher levels of vitamin D as infants and during their childhood were at a significantly lesser risk of developing islet autoimmunity as well as Type 1 diabetes.

* Sunscreens can aggravate the deficiency.

A 2017 study done by Touro University suggested that a large number of the world’s population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency because we’ve stopped spending time outdoors. Excessive use of sunscreens is only aggravating this condition.“People are spending less time outside and, when they do go out, they’re typically wearing sunscreen, which essentially nullifies the body’s ability to produce vitamin D,” said Kim Pfotenhauer, DO, assistant professor at Touro University and a researcher on this study.

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First Published: Jul 04, 2018 14:56 IST