Human body is designed by nature that it requires a myriad of nutrients to meet its physiological needs for optimal functioning. Diet provides most of these nutrients however, fat soluble vitamin D, generally classified as a steroid hormone and is unique for being sourced from sunlight exposure.
Dr. Saeed Akhtar, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Pakistan, said that its fundamental role in bone health, vitamin D has been associated with a wide variety of acute and chronic illnesses as well as reducing the risk of certain cancers. The aim of the review is to provide an update about the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Asian populations and its consequences on bone health and cancer risk.
According to available data suggest that vitamin D deficiency is common throughout Asia. Inadequate intake of vitamin D rich foods, lack of sun exposure, poor socio economic status, insufficient knowledge of mothers about nutrition and a virtual absence of an integrated health care system especially for rural folk, are some of the potential determinants for high incidence of vitamin D deficiency.
Encouraging health systems to promote awareness on health benefits of vitamin D are needed for South Asian countries.