Urban India becoming increasingly deficient in Vitamin D

11:27 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

Urban India becoming increasingly deficient in Vitamin D

Deficiency of this vitamin can even cause heart problems and infertility

New Delhi, 14th April 2018:A recent report by the ASSOCHAM Healthcare Committee has revealed that about 8 in 10 people in Delhi suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Such a deficiency can cause chronic muscle pain, spasms, low energy levels, and depression. About 88% of Delhi’s population has a Vitamin D level that is less than normal. The need of the hour is to create awareness about the consequences of being deficient in this vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency is defined as when 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH) D is less than 20 Nanogram/milliliter (ng/mL), insufficiency as between 20-29 ng/mL and sufficiency as 25 (OH) D more than 30 ng/mL.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “A deficiency of Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone mineralization, and bone softening diseases such as rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. The prime reason for this deficiency among people in urban cities such as Delhi could be insufficiency or non-exposure to sunlight, staying in air-conditioned rooms for long hours during the day. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with metabolic syndrome, heart diseases and even fertility. Five to 30 minutes of sunlight twice a week to your face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen will enable you to make enough of the vitamin. Food and sun exposure should suffice, but if not, get 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement.”

The current vitamin D mantra is that 40 days in a year for at least 40 minutes. One should expose 40% of the body to the sunlight either after sunrise or just before sunset.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “Vitamin D2 ergocalciferol is found in food items and our body makes Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol in the presence of sunlight. While both are extremely important, if D2 can be obtained from food, even little exposure to sun can help the body produce D3.”

HCFI tips for getting vitamin D from food.


The following foods are good sources of Vitamin D.

  • Cod liveroil This oil comes from the liver of the cod fish and is considered extremely healthy. It helps ease joint pains and can be taken in capsule form or oil form.
  • Mushrooms If you love mushrooms, you are covered. Dried shitake mushrooms are a brilliant source of Vitamin D3 as well as Vitamin B. It is low in calorie and can be consumed daily.
  • Salmon This is another good source of D3, Omega 3 and protein.
  • Sunflowers seeds This seed not only have Vitamin D3 but also comes with monounsaturated fats and protein.

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