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J Assoc Physicians India. 2009 Jan;57:40-8.

Vitamin D status in India--its implications and remedial measures.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati - 517 507, Andhra Pradesh, India.


Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic in India despite of plenty of sunshine. The interpretation of vitamin D levels should be done with the solar zenith angle, minimal erythemal dose, skintype, UV Index and geographical location. All Indian studies uniformly point to low 25(OH)D levels in the populations studies despite abundant sunshine. All studies have uniformly documented low dietary calcium intake compared to Recommended Daily/Dietary Allowances (RDA) by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The vitamin D status of children is very low in both urban and rural population studied. Pregnant women and their new born had low vitamin D status. The effect of short course of loading doses of vitamin D doesn't have a lasting effect and a maintenance dose is needed. Low 25(OH)D levels has its implications of lower peak bone mass and lower BMD compared to west. There may be a public health need to fortify Indian foods with vitamin D.

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