Nav: Home

Concern over low vitamin D intakes among UK South Asians

June 25, 2018

Public health strategies are urgently required to tackle low intakes of vitamin D in the UK South-Asian population, finds a new study in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

In the largest study of its kind, using data from the UK Biobank, researchers from the University of Surrey examined the vitamin D intake of UK South Asian adults through diet and supplementation. This population group traditionally has inadequate vitamin D levels due to their darker skin pigmentation, low sun exposure to the skin due to dress coverage and a tendency to avoid the sun.

This makes it even more important that they have adequate oral intake of vitamin D, through diet or supplements.

Examining 8,024 South Asians (Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani) participants, researchers found low intakes of this vital vitamin. In tandem with a lack of sunlight exposure this would put them at increased risk of chronic diseases including osteoporosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is vital to our health as it helps regulate the immune and musculoskeletal system.

Researchers found that vitamin D intake through diet was low amongst this group at 1.0-3.0 micrograms per day, but there was a differentiation in ethnicity, with Bangladeshis having on average higher vitamin D intake (3.0mcg) than Indians (1.0mcg). However, all of the groups were below both the European Food Safety Authority recommendation (15 micrograms per day) and the Public Health England recommendation (10 micrograms per day), which is needed to ensure adequate health in adults.

Vitamin D supplementation use, which is a good way of increasing vitamin D levels in the body, was also low amongst UK South Asians, with only 22 per cent of Bangladeshis, 32 per cent of Indians and 25 per cent of Pakistanis taking a vitamin D containing supplement.

Within this group, women (39 per cent) were more likely to take supplements than men (23 per cent).

Surprisingly researchers discovered a geographic and socio economic distinction in vitamin D intake in South Asians. It was found that South Asians in Greater London had a higher prevalence of vitamin D intake (35 percent) than those in other regions (18-28 percent).

Lead author Dr Andrea Darling, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey, said: "Such low levels of vitamin D intake and vitamin D supplement use in this population group is very concerning. Vitamin D is crucial to ensuring our overall health and a lack of it leads to an increased risk of chronic illnesses putting an additional strain on the NHS.

"Urgent steps are required to remedy this problem and avoid a public health crisis amongst UK South Asians."
-end-


University of Surrey

Related Diet Articles:

A plant-based diet boosts weight loss twice as effectively as a traditional diabetes diet
Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., presented 'The effect of a vegetarian versus conventional hypocaloric diabetic diet on thigh adipose tissue distribution in patients with type 2 diabetes,' at the American Diabetes Association's 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego on June 12, 2017.
Healthy diet? That depends on your genes
A recently published Cornell University study describes how shifts in the diets of Europeans after the introduction of farming 10,000 years ago led to genetic adaptations that favored the dietary trends of the time.
Diet and global climate change
Eating healthier food could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says a new study by environmental scientist David Cleveland.
Could a ketogenic diet alleviate gout?
Recent work from the laboratory of Vishwa Deep Dixit, Professor of Comparative Medicine and Immunobiology, has shown that the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate can specifically inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes
In a study on mice and another study on human pancreatic cells, researchers discover that a scientifically designed fasting diet can trigger the generation of new pancreatic cells to replace dysfunctional ones and stabilize blood glucose.
Time to put TB on a diet!
The tuberculosis bacillus is growing resistant to antibiotics. For this reason, biochemists at UNIGE are attempting to identify the mechanisms that enable the bacterium to reproduce, spread and survive in latent form in our macrophages.
Changes in the diet affect epigenetics via the microbiota
Researchers have known for some time that diet affects the balance of microbes in our bodies, but how that translates into an effect on the host has not been understood.
How your diet can influence your environmental impact
The impact of our dietary choices on the global phosphorus footprint shouldn't be neglected, shows a new study.
Diet and back pain: What's the link?
As part of a collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, researchers are exploring the link between diet, obesity-linked type 2 diabetes, and intervertebral disc degeneration.
Your best diet might depend on your genetics
If you've ever seen a friend have good results from a diet but then not been able to match those results yourself, you may not be surprised by new findings in mice that show that diet response is highly individualized.

Related Diet Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".