Friday, June 15, 2012

Vit D3

Vit D3 & Children

Kids hit hard by little exposure to sunlight

Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Mumbai: Kids and young adults in the city are not getting enough exposure to sunlight, resulting in high levels of Vitamin D deficiency, according to a recent study.
The study by PD Hinduja Hospital found that Mumbaikars are shunning even half an hour of exposure to the sun in a day, considered ideal worldwide. Vitamin D is secreted in the body when the skin is sufficiently exposed to sunlight.

Dr Vipla Puri, consultant (radioimmunoassay), at the hospital’s department of lab-medicine said, “The decline in Vitamin D levels indicates that kids have sedentary lifestyles — watching television, playing indoor games or using computers.” She said most children and young adults in the study belonged to the higher socio-economic strata. “Vitamin D deficiency has reached alarming proportions and parents must take steps to alter their kids’ lifestyle if they
want to protect them from serious diseases,” said Puri.
Pediatrician Dr Deepak Urga, who consults with Lilavati Hospital, termed Vitamin D deficiency in children as an “alarming problem”. “Children are increasingly getting used to a life without natural light,” he said. Blaming food habits, Ugra said the kind of food children in metros prefer are not rich sources of Vitamin D. “It gets tougher for vegetarians as Vitamin D sources are sparse,” he said.

Studies show it affects the immune system in children. “Vitamin D deficiency causes allergies and respiratory infections in children,” said Ugra. He added most vitamin supplements also fail to provide the quota of anything between 200-1000 IU/ day (international unit).
Physician Dr Pratik Samdani alsoblamed pollution. “Factorslike latitude, atmospheric pollution, duration and time of exposure to sunlight is also important for the skin to absorb and use it,” he said.

Sunscreens and Vit D3

Sunscreens causing vitamin deficiency?

Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Mumbai: The indiscriminate and widespread use of sunscreen lotions to block harsh ultraviolet rays could be compounding the problem of Vitamin D deficiency to a great extent. Some say its repeated use hampers the skin’s ability to absorb the sun’s rays.
A professor at the skin department of JJ Hospital said, “Some studies have found that by blocking ultraviolet rays, sunscreen lotions limit the amount of Vitamin D produced in the body. Of course, the extent of reduction is still a subject of debate,” he said. He added that certain studies have pegged the loss at five-fold to 10-fold.
Yet, there are also studies and observations based on years of followups that concluded that sunscreens do affect the production of Vitamin D in the body, but not significantly. Physician Dr Pratik Samdani said, “Yes, sunscreens play their own role but it would be unfair to blame the deficiency only on them,” he said.

Vit D3

Publication: The Times Of India Mumbai; Date: Jun 15, 2012; Section: Times City; Page: 7

‘Sunshine’ vitamin vital for health

Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Recent studies have rechristened Vitamin D from a mere ‘sunshine’ vitamin to a hormone with significant bearing on bones, heart, kidneys, among other organs. Efforts are now being made to understand the extent of its deficiency in the population and fight it.

Some experts believe Vitamin D deficiency is a pan-Indian phenomenon affecting people from all age-groups and sections of society, reasons for which range from lifestyle, atmospheric pollution, skin pigmentation, clothing to duration and time of exposure to sunlight daily. Endocrinologist Dr Sudhindra Kulkarni, who consults with Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said Vitamin D has been proved to play the role of regulators of cell growth. “Almost all tissues and cells in the body have receptors for it and need it,” he said.

Dr Vipla Puri, consultant (radioimmunoassay), department of Lab-Medicine at PD Hinduja Hospital, said there is epidemiologic evidence now to show Vitamin D is required for more than strong bones. “It plays a role in preventing chronic diseases involving the immune and cardiovascular system later in life,” she said. “More recently it has become a general health indicator because of its associations with major conditions like cancer. Doctors too are becoming more aware and asking for this test,” she said.

Head of the orthopaedic department at Parel’s KEM Hospital Dr Pradeep Bhonsale said Vitamin D deficiency in adults was astonishingly high and more cases are coming to fore given increased awareness. “Over 50% of patients we treat in our hospital have this deficiency. This can also shunt a child’s growth and give rise to bone deformities,” he said. He added Vitamin D deficiency was responsible for unexplained pain in the back and joint pain in children as well as adults.

While global studies have established the importance of Vitamin D as a health parameter, there is little consensus in India on how much is too much or too little for an individual. Pediatrician Dr Deepak Ugra said concentrated Vitamin D supplements provide much less than the requirement of 400 IU/ day. “Calcium tonics available in the market have only about 100ml of Vitamin D components,” he said. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its Vitamin D guidelines, recommending infants children and teens should take atleast 400 IU per day in supplement form.

Kulkarni said the time of exposure to sunlight is also a subject of debate. “Some studies say 20 minutes is fine while others say it has to be over 45 minutes. On the other hand, exposure to too much sunlight has also been linked to skin cancer so one has to exercise caution,” he said.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bones from FAT


Scientists grow bones from fat in lab

Tech Will Pave Way For Repairing Or Replacing Broken Bones With New Ones

London: Scientists have succeeded in growing human bone from stem cells in a laboratory, which they claim may eventually pave the way for patients to have broken bones repaired or replaced with new ones grown outside the body.
The researchers started with stem cells taken from fat tissue. It took around a month to grow them into sections of fully-formed living human bone up to a couple of inches long. The first trial in patients is on course to be conducted later this year, by an Israeli biotechnology company that
has been working with academics on the technology, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Professor Avinoam Kadouri, head of the scientific advisory board for Bonus Bio-Group, said: “There is a need for artificial bones for injuries and in operations. We use three dimensional structures to fabricate the bone in the right shape and geometry.
“We can grow these bones outside the body and then transplant it to the patient at the right time. By scanning the damaged bone area, the implant should fit perfectly
and merge with the surrounding tissue. There are no problems with rejection as the cells come from the patient’s own body,” he added.
The technology, which has been developed along with researchers at the Technion Institute of Research in Israel, uses three dimensional scans of the damaged bone to build a gel-like scaffold that matches the shape.
Stem cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells, which have the capacity to develop into many other types of cell in the body, are obtained from the patient’s fat using liposuction. These are then grown into living bone on the scaffold
inside a “bioreactor”, an automated machine that provides the right conditions to encourage the cells to develop into bone. Already animals have successfully received bone transplants. The scientists were able to insert almost an inch of laboratory-grown human bone into the middle section of a rat’s leg bone.
The technique could ultimately allow doctors to replace bones that have been smashed in accidents, fill in defects where bone is missing, or carry out reconstructive plastic surgery. PTI

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

It’s always sunny in Mumbai, but citizens lacking Vitamin D

It’s always sunny in Mumbai, but citizens lacking Vitamin D

Sumitra Deb Roy TNN

Mumbai: The city’s upper middle class and wealthy may adhere to a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, but our attempt to seek cover from the harsh gaze of the tropical sun has put us at risk.
Most Mumbaikars working in air-conditioned offices are lacking in vital Vitamin D, the benefits of which range from strengthening
bones and teeth to preventing diabetes, cancer and cardiac problems. The sun’s rays are a major source of Vitamin D.
A study conducted by doctors at P D Hinduja Hospital at Mahim found that 77.5% of 561 males and 72.68 % of 443 females, who had come to the hospital for routine health checkups, were deficient in Vitamin D. Men and women in the 40-60 age group appeared to be the most vulnerable, said doctors.
Of the 1,004 healthy men and women tested, 75% had a deficiency with less than 20 nanograms (ng) of Vitamin D per millilitre of blood. Another 20% had “insufficient” levels of Vitamin D. Only 2.4% men and 5.4 % women tested had adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, which is more than 40ng/ml.
Doctors say this is a worrisome trend and call it an “underlying epidemic”.


•Though the major source of Vitamin D is sunlight, it’s also found in food items like raw milk and cod liver oil

•It maintains normal calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood, which are needed for strong bones & teeth

•Apart from brittle bones and teeth, recent studies have also found a correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and Type-I diabetes, and cancer

•A study conducted by Hinduja Hospital doctors found that Mumbaikars suffer from a massive Vitamin D deficiency. Only 2.4% of 561 males tested and 5.4% of 443 females had healthy levels of Vitamin D

•Of the 561 men tested, 435 showed deficiency (less than 20 nanogram per millilitre), while 112 had insufficent amounts of Vit D (between 21-40ng/ml). Of the 443 women tested, only 24 showed sufficiency (above 40ng/ml)

Lifestyles hit Vitamin D levels

Mumbai: On one hand scientists warn us of the sun’s harmful UV rays. On the other hand, these rays are a vital source of essential Vitamin D, which is often called the sunshine vitamin. When doctors at Hinduja Hospital in Mahim tested people who had come for routine medical checkups, they found that an overwhelming majority—75% of 1,004 people—were seriously deficient in Vitamin D. All the people hailed from upper middleclass and wealthy families.
The sunshine vitamin is not only required for healthy bones and a strong skeletal structure, emerging studies have linked deficiencies to diseases like
diabetes and cancer, cardiacrelated ailments, neuromuscular disorders and even abnormal brain functions.
Yet the deficiency of vitamin D remains unexplained in a city like Mumbai where sunlight is found in abundance. Doctors blame it on urbanization and
lifestyle. Dr Vipla Puri,
consultant, laboratory medicine, P D Hinduja Hospital said: “Almost all people who hail from higher-income groups work indoors and step out only after the sun sets. It is taking a huge toll, silently.” Her department had collected the data for the study
over the last three months.
According to Dr Sudhindra Kulkarni endocrinologist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, the deficiency is “rampant and alarming”. He said: “It is not only about less or more exposure to sunlight but about appropriate absorption of the light and its conversion to Vitamin D. That process is suffering leading to an array of problems, and recently even metabolic disorders.” People step out of their air-conditioned houses and step into their air-conditioned cars and once again enter their air-conditioned offices, he added.
Experts say that many patients suffering from diabetes and thyroid are also found to have Vitamin D deficiency. This could explain why more youngsters are falling prey to health problems like osteoporosis.
Besides sunlight, an appropriate diet is also required. Head of the endocrinology department at KEM Hospital Dr Nalini Shah said Indian food, unlike in the West is not fortified with Vitamin D. Even after adequate exposure to sunlight, some may suffer from the deficiency, she said. “The UV rays may get filtered due to environmental conditions.”
A workable solution is to expose oneself to adequate sunlight every day for anywhere between 15-30 minutes, added Puri: “The good news is that public awareness is improving. “We do at least 150 Vitamin D tests a day, which was not the
case few
years ago,”
she said.


It is a fat soluble vitamin, something that gets easily dissolved in body fat SUN’S RAYS | A major source of Vitamin D is exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is absorbed by the body when UV rays touch the skin. The chemical conversion of Vitamin D into its hormone form is performed by the liver and kidney


Though its
major source is sunlight,
Vitamin D can also be found in certain food items such as raw milk and cod liver oil


It maintains normal calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood, which are needed for strong bones and healthy teeth. Phosphorous is required to keep the body’s muscles and nerves in working order
It aids in the absorption of calcium, and helps form and maintain strong bones


In adults, Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, where the bones become thin and brittle
It can cause muscular weakness
It can lead to osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bone tissues and their degeneration over time
In kids, it can cause rickets (weakening of bones)
Studies have linked deficiency to diabetes, cancer, cardiac ailments, neuromuscular disorders and abnormal brain functions


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cell Phones & Bones

Could cellphones be weakening our bones?

A study has found that using mobile phones may increase our chances of having osteoporosis later in life

Mumbai Mirror Bureau

Astudy has found that men who routinely wear their cellphone on their belt on the right side have reduced bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) in the right hip, according to the study by Fernando Sravi of National University of Cuyo, Argentina.
His research on how electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones may adversely affect bone strength appears in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.
Sravi writes, "The different patterns of right-left asymmetry in bone mineral found in mobile phone users and nonusers are consistent with a effect of electromagnetic waves not previously described."
Sravi measured BMC and BMD at the left and right hip in two groups of healthy men: 24 men who did not use phones and 24 men who carried their cellphone in a belt pouch, on the right side, for at least one year.
Measured using a test called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, BMC and BMD are standard markers of bone strength. Average hip BMC and BMD measurements were not significantly different between groups.
However, men who did not use cellphones had higher BMC in the right femoral neck (near the top of the thigh bone): a normal left-right difference that was absent in cellphone users.
Thus men who wore their cellphones on the right side had a relative reduction in femoral neck BMC in that hip.
The phone users also had reduced BMD and BMC in the area near the thigh bone, close to where the phone would be worn on the belt. The difference between the left and right hip was significantly related to the estimated total hours spent carrying a cell phone.
There are concerns about potential harmful effects of phones. However, few studies have looked at if the electromagnetic fields emitted by them could affect bone mineralisation.
With the rapid growth in cell use, any significant effect on BMD could have a substantial effect on the rate of osteoporosis.
Although small, the new study raises the possibility that long-term exposure to radiation from phones could adversely affect bone mineralisation.
Larger follow-up studies will be needed to confirm or disprove this hypothesis, according to Sravi.
He suggests that studies may be warranted in women, who have higher rates of osteoporosis; and children, who would have longer expected lifetime exposure to mobile phones.