Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D Deficiency Is Widespread And On The Increase

Date:
July 6, 2009
Source:
International Osteoporosis Foundation
Summary:
A new report shows that populations across the globe are suffering from the impact of low levels of vitamin D. The problem is widespread and on the increase, with potentially severe repercussions for overall health and fracture rates.

A new report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and published in the scientific journal Osteoporosis International1, shows that populations across the globe are suffering from the impact of low levels of vitamin D. The problem is widespread and on the increase, with potentially severe repercussions for overall health and fracture rates.

Vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, and, to a lesser extent, is derived from nutritional sources. It plays an important role, through its influence on calcium levels, in the maintenance of organ systems, and is needed for normal bone mineralization and growth. Suboptimal levels of vitamin D may lead to increased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture and, in severe cases, to the development of rickets, a softening of bones in children that can lead to skeletal fractures and deformity.

Although there is ongoing debate as to what constitutes the optimal level of vitamin D, the report shows that regardless of whether it is defined at 50nmol/L or 75nmol/L, vitamin D status is seriously inadequate in large proportions of the population across the globe.

The main risk factors for low vitamin D levels include older age, female sex, lower latitudes, winter season, darker skin pigmentation, less sunlight exposure, dietary habits, and the absence of vitamin D fortification in common foods. Further factors include the increase in urbanization, where people tend to live and work indoors, as well as cultural practices that tend towards sun avoidance and the wearing of traditional clothing that covers the skin. The severity of the problem in Middle East and South Asia arises from the combination of several of these risk factors.

These findings suggest that prevention strategies must be initiated at the national level - especially given the increasing ageing of populations in many regions of the world. National plans of action should encourage safe, limited exposure to sunlight and improved dietary intake of vitamin D, whilst considering fortification of foods as well.

Compiled by IOF’s expert working group on nutrition, the report reviews the scope and causes of low vitamin D levels in six regions: Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, North America and Oceania. Regional reports are available on the IOF website.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Osteoporosis Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Mithal, D.A. Wahl, J-P. Bonjour et al. Global vitamin D status and determinants of hypovitaminosis D. Osteoporosis International, (in press)

Cite This Page:

International Osteoporosis Foundation. "Vitamin D Deficiency Is Widespread And On The Increase." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630143523.htm>.
International Osteoporosis Foundation. (2009, July 6). Vitamin D Deficiency Is Widespread And On The Increase. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630143523.htm
International Osteoporosis Foundation. "Vitamin D Deficiency Is Widespread And On The Increase." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630143523.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins