ISSN 2410-955X - An International Biannual Journal
Overview of Vitamin D, its status and consequences: challenges and prospects for Pakistani population: A Review
Muhammad Taimur Siddique 1, Ahmed Hafeez 1, Sadaf Mearaj 2, Shabbar Abbas 1*
1 Department of Biosciences, COMSATS University Islamabad Pakistan
2 Seoul National University, South Korea
Vitamin D, like other vitamins, is an essential micronutrient required for proper human metabolic function. It refers to a group of compounds, the most important of which are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D is acquired from two main sources, synthesis in lower layers of the skin triggered by exposure to the sun (90%) and through diet (10%). Vitamin D levels can be determined by measuring 25(OH)D concentration in the serum and deficiencies are responsible for a wide range of issues including bone related problems, depression, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cardio and respiratory problems, infections, autism and obesity. Synthesis in the body can be affected by a variety of factors including skin color, age, lifestyle, clothing, weather and even general health illiteracy. In terms of diet, the staple foods of the Pakistani population are generally deficient in vitamin D. As a result, a significant proportion of the Pakistani population, in particular women and children, suffer from vitamin D deficiency. The various challenges that need to be addressed to overcome this issue are discussed, along with potentially employable strategies such as food fortification (for example by micro and nano encapsulation technologies) and bio fortification.