Vitamin D most essential body nutrient lacking now-a-days in India despite plentiful sun. Report says, 65-70% Indians are Vitamin D deficient and another 15 per cent are insufficient is reaching epidemic proportions in India, warns Dr Michael Holick, Endocrinologist and global authority on Vitamin D therapy. It is a steroid hormone that impacts virtually every cell in the body. It is synthesized in the skin on exposure to sunshine and is needed to absorb calcium and for bone health.
If there is low Vitamin D levels they will harm bones on wide level, it will become thin, brittle, soft or misshapen. Whereas Vitamin D is important for heart, brain, immune function and others .It may lead to high risk of rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and infections such as tuberculosis. "It is also observed that high level of Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases," adds Dr Holick. He spoke on 'Recent Advancements in Vitamin D Therapy Management' at the international speaker program, organised by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd in New Delhi.
Also people experiencing musculoskeletal pain , that means 93% of them were Vitamin D deficient.
There are two kinds of Vitamin D i.e Vitamin D2 ergocalciferol which is found in food items and Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol which is made in your body with the presence of sunlight. While both are extremely important for us, if we get D2 from food, even little exposure to sun can help the body produce D3.
"We have undertaken two major studies involving Indian children in the age group of 11-15 years, which were published in Osteoporosis International and British Journal of Dermatology. It was found that despite exposure to sun for 30 minutes every day for 30 days during summer and winter, it did not achieve the level of Vitamin D, which is considered to be adequate for sound bone health. And that is the reason why I feel that it is important to supplement Vitamin D in Indian conditions during summer, especially in winter to achieve adequate levels of Vitamin D." said Major General (Retd) Dr Raman K Marwaha, Eminent Endocrinologist, Former Additional Director and Head (INMAS) and President, Indian Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ISBMR).