VITAMIN D deficiency has become a worldwide problem. It is estimated that about one billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood.

All age groups are vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency, though children below five, women and people over 65 are at a much higher risk.

One major reason for this deficiency is the lack of adequate exposure to sunlight and the fact that not enough foods contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D to meet the daily body requirements.

A minimum of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of 30 mg/ml, is required to maximise vitamin D’s beneficial effects for health.

Professionals widely recognise vitamin D deficiency as a contributing factor for many diseases as it has a major disease fighting role. Vitamin D deficiency may lead towards an increased chance of developing osteoporosis, rickets in children, osteomalacia among children and adults, cardiovascular diseases, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, infectious diseases, dementia and cancer, etc.

It is time we prepared diagnostic kits locally to reduce the cost of the test. Physicians must regularly prescribe this test and we must ensure that we get sufficient exposure to sunlight, eat vitamin D-rich foods, including fish, cheese, beef liver, egg yolks and dairy products.

The philanthropic bodies and healthcare professionals must create awareness about the importance of vitamin D.

The understanding about the role of multivitamins needs to be further strengthened through research.

Aleem Ahmed

Islamabad

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Editorial

Security policy unveiled
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Security policy unveiled

PAKISTAN’S freshly unveiled National Security Policy has broadened the traditional concept and included economic...
Bold decisions
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Bold decisions

IT is a double blow within a matter of days. The Islamabad High Court’s order last week to demolish a navy golf...
17 Jan, 2022

Rohingya camp blaze

A HUGE blaze in a refugee camp housing members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh last week has left up to ...
16 Jan, 2022

Omicron threat

AS Pakistan grapples with the fifth coronavirus wave fuelled by the Omicron variant, the state must take timely...
Updated 16 Jan, 2022

Grim picture

There is much the govt can do to create an environment free of repression and coercion so that democracy is strengthened.
16 Jan, 2022

Larkana jail unrest

THAT Larkana Central Prison authorities had to resort to the excuse of “cleaning the jail” to shift 13 dangerous...