Interventions for Prevention and Control of Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency
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Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) remains a significant health challenge globally with its overwhelming effects on skeletal growth and varied associations with extra-skeletal diseases. The last decade has reported a high prevalence of VDD in all age-groups across all zones of India. Children and adolescents are most vulnerable to ill-effects of VDD as peak linear growth and bone mass accrual occurs during these years. Vitamin D deficiency in mothers predisposes their infants to have low serum vitamin D levels. Indians have increased susceptibility to develop VDD due to predominant vegetarian dietary habits, high melanin skin content, atmospheric pollution, modest tradition of clothing and limited availability of fortified foods. Vitamin D supplementation during infancy and childhood has emerged as an effective strategy to combat VDD. However, effects of vitamin D supplementation are transient and are not cost-effective as a maintenance strategy. Fortification of foodstuffs has been adopted by many developed countries globally which has emerged as a safe, efficacious and cost-effective strategy to control VDD. A strong political will and support is required to sustain food fortification in India. The current review focuses on strategies to prevent and control the epidemic of VDD in children.
KeywordsSunlight Vitamin D supplementation Fortification 25(OH)D India
RKM: Conception and design of manuscript, led the development of the manuscript and have primary responsibility for the final content. AD: Manuscript preparation and final draft of manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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