Vitamin D deficiency is developing as a major crisis in Delhi and other metros. The national capital is facing a Vitamin D famine in the midst of plenty. Sun being the biggest provider of Vitamin D, Delhi people should have problem of plenty because its overdose also has its downsides. But despite the national capital having sun shining for more than 12 hours a day, and hence a veritable Vitamin D downpour from the sky, denizens are known to be affected severely of its deficiency.
Delhi’s huge populace, upward of 85 per cent, are found to be starved of this sunshine vitamin.
As importance of Vitamin D deficiency has been found to go way beyond impacting bone mass, most of Delhi's diseases may have its footprint. It is now advised that while treating any disease, vitamin D assessment must include the test repertoire prescribed by the doctor, according to experts.
Addressing Vitamin D deficiency may magically improve the treatment outcome, according to medical practitioners.
Dr Aashish Chaudhry, an orthopaedician and managing director, Aakash Healthcare, recommends a revolution of sorts like that of iodine fortification of salt. Delhi’ites urgently need to be supplemented with this vitamin, essentially via resources other than sun rays, he said.
“Over 85% of Delhi’ites have been found to be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. Essential for strong bones, it helps the body use calcium from the diet for enriching bone mass. Symptoms of generalised bone pains and nonspecific chronic muscle weakness can be due to Vitamin D deficiency,” said Dr Chaudhry.
“I see a number of people, of all ages, coming with such complaints. I have invariably found them victim of Vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency can lead to lowering of bone density and frequent fracture incidents and sometimes rickets in children,” he added.
“Vitamin D is not only vital for bone health, its deficiency is no more confined to impacting bone health alone,” he said.
Till not long ago, Vitamin D was known as a mere carrier of calcium consumed through food, to the bone and thus it is crucial for bone health. But new research has underlined that Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in a number of ailments, namely, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, infertility, depression and what not.
According to Dr Chaudhry, addressing vitamin D deficiency may lead to better outcomes in the treatment of a number of diseases.
Vitamin catastrophe is a major health issue. Lifestyle changes that lead to remaining indoors, away from the Sun, cause this deficiency. More so, the good melanin cover on people in Indian subcontinent prevents adequate absorption of this vital vitamin from sun rays.
“A stray case of death of a boy by a quack’s overdose of Vitamin D supplement should not make us lose sight of the urgent need of addressing its deficiency. Modern doctors know what dose a particular person needs,” he concluded.