Dealing with vitamin deficiency


CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Some
south Asian women suffer
from lack of vitamin D due to
covering themselves up and
not being exposed to sunlight
CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Some south Asian women suffer from lack of vitamin D due to covering themselves up and not being exposed to sunlight

by NADEEM BADSHAH SUNLIGHT AND SUPPLEMENTS BEST WAYS TO PREVENT RICKETS AND OSTEOPOROSIS BRITISH Asians are being urged to make the most of the sunny weather as many in the community suffer from a lack of vitamin D. “Urgent action” is needed to advise the Asian community to take vitamin D sup­plements in order to prevent diseases like rickets, experts have said. It comes as activists criticised NHS proposals to reduce prescriptions of vita­min D doses in a bid to slash costs. People of south Asian origin are at higher risk of conditions like rickets and osteoporosis, which leads to softer and weaker bones, due to their darker skin. Rickets was rife in Victorian times, but it was stamped out in the country in the 1950s. However, it has made a comeback due to poor diets and Britons suffering a lack of sunlight. There were 160 cases of rickets in children under 16 in the past two years, with more than half from an ethnic minority background. Dr Kailash Chand, a former GP and honorary vice-president of the British Medical Association, told Eastern Eye: “We do need some urgent action, and I think it is an issue of health education too. “Awareness of the risks of vitamin D deficiency should be increased in all Asian families. Pre-natal care includes checking vitamin levels and ensuring that any deficiencies are supplemented. “It would be simpler to supplement all pregnant Asian women with vitamin D. The problem for south Asian women is that some cover themselves up and are not exposed to sunlight. “As a result, they have to rely on their diet. But if you have a diet that is low in dairy and meat, which many Asian wom­en have, you will not get what you need. “What is needed is dialogue between…

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