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Ritu G.,Charak Foundation | Gupta A.,Charak Foundation | Gupta A.,Rockwell Medical
Nutrients | Year: 2014

Vitamin D deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent, with a prevalence of 70%-100% in the general population. In India, widely consumed food items such as dairy products are rarely fortified with vitamin D. Indian socioreligious and cultural practices do not facilitate adequate sun exposure, thereby negating potential benefits of plentiful sunshine. Consequently, subclinical vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in both urban and rural settings, and across all socioeconomic and geographic strata. Vitamin D deficiency is likely to play an important role in the very high prevalence of rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and infections such as tuberculosis in India. Fortification of staple foods with vitamin D is the most viable population based strategy to achieve vitamin D sufficiency. Unfortunately, even in advanced countries like USA and Canada, food fortification strategies with vitamin D have been only partially effective and have largely failed to attain vitamin D sufficiency. This article reviews the status of vitamin D nutrition in the Indian subcontinent and also the underlying causes for this epidemic. Implementation of population based educational and interventional strategies to combat this scourge require recognition of vitamin D deficiency as a public health problem by the governing bodies so that healthcare funds can be allocated appropriately. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source


Ritu G.,Charak Foundation | Gupta A.,Charak Foundation | Gupta A.,University of California at Irvine | Gupta A.,Rockwell Medical
Nutrients | Year: 2014

Vitamin D deficiency is widely prevalent in India, despite abundant sunshine. Fortification of staple foods with vitamin D is a viable strategy to target an entire population. Vitamin D fortification programs implemented in the United States and Canada have improved the vitamin D status in these countries, but a significant proportion of the population is still vitamin D deficient. Before fortification programs are designed and implemented in India, it is necessary to study the efficacy of the American and Canadian vitamin D fortification programs and then improve upon them to suit the Indian scenario. This review explores potential strategies that could be used for the fortification of foods in the Indian context. These strategies have been proposed considering the diverse dietary practices necessitated by social, economic, cultural and religious practices and the diverse climatic conditions in India. Fortification of staple foods, such as chapati flour, maida, rice flour and rice, may be more viable strategies. Targeted fortification strategies to meet the special nutritional needs of children in India are discussed separately in a review entitled, “Fortification of foods with vitamin D in India: Strategies targeted at children”. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source


G R.,Charak Foundation | Gupta A.,Charak Foundation | Gupta A.,Rockwell Medical | Gupta A.,University of California at Irvine
Journal of the American College of Nutrition | Year: 2015

Vitamin D deficiency is endemic in India, despite abundant sunshine, due to several socioeconomic and cultural constraints. Fortification of staple foods with vitamin D is a viable population-based strategy for the general population in India. These strategies are discussed in the review article entitled, “Fortification of Foods With Vitamin D in India” [1]. The quantity of foods consumed by children is much smaller compared to adults. Therefore, children need energy-dense and micronutrient-dense foods to meet their daily nutritional requirements. Targeted food fortification programs are needed to meet the special needs of children. This review explores potential strategies that could be used for fortification of foods with vitamin D for children in India. Sattu has the potential to be a valuable vehicle for vitamin D fortification in India. The salient characteristics and merits of sattu as an ideal food to be fortified with micronutrients, especially vitamin D, are reviewed here. Key teaching points: • Fortification of foods with vitamin D, specifically targeted towards the nutritional requirements of infants and children, is a viable strategy in the Indian scenario. •Government programs targeting the nutritional needs of children in India, especially via midday meal programs in schools, should incorporate indigenous ready-to-eat foods fortified with micronutrients including vitamin D. These foods would need to have longer shelf life, require minimal preparation, and have economic and technological feasibility. • Sattu, a protein rich Indian fast food, comprised of roasted flour made from cereals and legumes, has immense potential to serve as an economically and technologically feasible fortification vehicle for vitamin D fortification strategies. © 2015, © American College of Nutrition Published by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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