90% of doctors, IT professionals vitamin D deficient
Despite India being blessed with abundant sunshine throughout the year, vitamin D deficiency is widespread among the population, Dr Sanjay Kalra, President-Elect of the South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES), said while speaking on “Hidden Hunger – Immuno Nutrition” to mark the celebration of September as Poshan Maah (Nutrition Month) by the central government, on 27th September 2022.
The noted endocrinologist said widespread vitamin D deficiency can be attributed to the fact that a majority of the Indian population is vegetarian. He, however, noted that vitamin D deficiency is high even among non-vegetarians as most consuming meat once a week or so is not enough to meet the vitamin D requirement.
“Several studies have shown that over two-thirds of Indians are vitamin D deficient. This is similar to the incidence of anaemia or haemoglobin deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is 90% among doctors. The same with IT professionals,” he said.
However, rectifying vitamin D deficiency is economical, efficient, and effective. “Roughly 60,000 units of vitamin D a month suffice. There are sublingual tablets that can be kept under the tongue. Sachets of Calcirol (Cholecalciferol), which can be mixed with water or juice are also available,” he said.
Explaining the term hidden hunger, Dr Kalra said it refers to a deficiency of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that are required by the human body, especially in the early stages of child growth and lactating mothers.
“Giving vitamin D is one way of improving immuno nutrition levels. It is also important to manage vitamin D levels for improved metabolism and other health benefits,” Dr Kalra said.
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