Following growing evidence of health benefits associated with vitamin D, the Osteoporosis Foundation has conducted a study that found a deficiency in the vitamin is common around the world.
According to the foundation, the global population is affected by low levels of vitamin D, a situation that leads to overall health deterioration and higher rates of fractures.
In a paper published in Osteoporosis International it says risk factors include older age, being female, lower latitudes, winter season, darker skin pigmentation, limited sunlight exposure, dietary habits and the absence of vitamin D fortification in common foods.
However, it does not say what constitutes the optimal level of the vitamin, as the scientific community seems to be divided on that issue, with some health practitioners recommending supplementation of as much as 2,000 IUD.
The researchers also say modern lifestyles and urban culture are partially to blame for the situation, with more people than ever living and working indoors, and following the advice of skin care experts to avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen.
In the author’s view, it is incumbent on governments to step up their efforts to encourage safe exposure to sunlight, improved dietary intake of vitamin D as well as consider appropriate fortification of foods.