Topic in News
- Vitamin deficiency in urban populace
- According to a study by National Institute of Nutrition, the urban population of India is suffering from micronutrient deficiency in general and vitamin deficiency in particular.
- The study was based on
- Measuring major vitamin levels in blood samples
- Dietary habits of urban population
Vitamin deficiency in blood samples
- The study of vitamin levels in the blood samples indicated the deficiencies of following vitamins in proportion of the population.
- Vitamin B2 deficiency in 50% population
- Vitamin B6 deficiency in 46% population
- Vitamin B12 deficiency in 46% population
- Folate deficiency in 32% population
- Vitamin D deficiency in 29% population
Vitamin deficiency in dietary habits
- The nutrient deficiency was found in the diets of 72% of the study population.
- The nutrient deficiency in diets indicated 2 factors:
- Bad diet deficient in vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12 and folate
- Prevalence of high level of homocysteine in 52% of the study population
- While the dietary deficiency was found high in women, homocysteine levels were high among men. Homocysteine is a substance present in blood that is related to non-communicable diseases.
- The urban population does not get its vitamin levels screened leading to lack of awareness.
- Also, many of the people are unaware about healthy food habits.
- Vitamins that generally get the attention include folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. As a result other vitamins are neglected in the diet.
- The vitamin deficiency do not get adequate attention as the effects are undetectable unless severe
- Vitamins are the necessary micronutrients required by the body in small amounts.
- They are necessary to run the biochemical processes of body.
- They also help in maintenance of the structure of skin, bone, nerves, eye, brain, blood, mucous membrane etc.
- They must be present in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.
Types of Vitamins
- Vitamins are 2 types:
- Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C, and vitamin B-complex.
- Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body while water-soluble vitamins are not and get easily excreted in urine
- Vitamins are generally found in green leafy vegetables, milk and fresh fruits.
Fat Soluble vitamins
- Beta-carotene is the precursor of Vitamin A
- Carotenoids are commonly found in fruits and vegetables that are green, yellow or orange in colour.
- Sources include green leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, papaya, mango etc.
- Breast milk is a good source of vitamin A.
- Vitamin A helps in clear vision in dim light.
- It also protects epithelial tissues and maintains resistance to common infections
- Human skin makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
- Fish, dairy products, egg yolk etc are good source of vitamin D.
- Vitamin D primarily helps in calcium absorption.
- It also helps in contraction of cells.
- Nuts like almond, peanuts etc and vegetable oil
- Primarily function as antioxidant which means protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, eggs, milk etc
- Primarily helps in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.
- Rich in fruits like amla, guava, banana and citrus fruits.
- Note: Milk does not have Vitamin C.
- Vitamin C promotes iron absorbption.
- It is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
|Vitamin Name||Deficiency disorder|
|Vitamin A||Night Blindness|
|Vitamin D||Rickets, reduced bone density|
|Vitamin C||Scurvy, bleeding of gums|
|Vitamin B1 – Thiamine||Beri-Beri|
|Vitamin B2- Riboflavin||Cracks on skin, lips and tongue|
|Vitamin B5- Niacin||Pellagra characterised by diarrhoea, dermatitis and dementia.|