Nearly 89% of people in Vadodara suffer from vitamin D deficiency, according to data from tests conducted in the city by Tata 1mg Labs over a six-month period. Vadodara had the highest incidence of deficiency out of the 27 cities across the country whose Vitamin D test data was analyzed.
Out of the total 1,442 samples tested in Vadodara, 1,277 were found deficient in Vitamin D, with men faring slightly better (626) than women (651). The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency was the highest in the age group of 40–60 years (495), followed by 25–40 years (487), above 60 years (211) and under 25 years (84).
Data on vitamin D levels in the last 6 months based on analysis of 1,442 samples in Vadodara:
Vitamin D Levels
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D 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.
Said Dr Rajeev Sharma, VP, Medical Affairs, Tata 1mg: “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. However, seasonal variations in exposure to sunlight can also be a likely explanation, especially during winters. Unspaced and unplanned pregnancies in women with dietary deficits can lead to worsening of vitamin D status in both mother and child.”
Said Dr Prashant Nag, Clinical Head, Tata 1mg Labs: “Vitamin D levels should be checked regularly in cases of obesity, mal-absorption syndrome or softening of the bones (osteomalacia), or if the patient is getting treatment for TB. Vitamin D levels can also be checked along with regular full-body checkups, which are recommended to be done every six months or at least once a year. 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.”
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.