Vitamin D deficiency in India

J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Mar-Apr;7(2):324-330. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_78_18.


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin playing a vital role in human physiology. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide. This deficiency has many consequences which are still being explored, apart from the well-known skeletal complications. With this review, we aim to summarize the existing literature on Vitamin D status in India and understand the enormity of the problem. The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency ranged from 40% to 99%, with most of the studies reporting a prevalence of 80%-90%. It was prevalent in all the age groups and high-risk groups alike. With the consequences of Vitamin D deficiency, namely, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and tuberculosis being explored, we can imagine the burden it would cause in our country. We need to create awareness among the public and healthcare providers about the importance of Vitamin D and the consequences of deficiency. Our Indian diet generally fails to satisfy the daily requirement of Vitamin D for a normal adult. This stresses on the need for fortifying various food with Vitamin D, through the national programs. This silent epidemic should be addressed appropriately with concrete public health action.

Keywords: Fortification; India; Vitamin D deficiency; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Review