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Nepalese infants who sunbathe, etc. have much higher levels of vitamin D than their mothers – Dec 2016

Low Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency among Nepalese Infants Despite High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency among Their Mothers

Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 825; doi:10.3390/nu8120825 (registering DOI)
Johanne Haugen 1,2,* , Manjeswori Ulak 3, Ram K. Chandyo 3, Sigrun Henjum 4, Andrew L. Thorne-Lyman 5,6,7, Per Magne Ueland 8,9, Øivind Midtun 8,9, Prakash S. Shrestha 3 and Tor A. Strand 1,2,10
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D: Current Issues and New Perspectives)

VitaminDWiki Summary
  • Nepal has 300 sunny days a year and no cultural avoidance of the sun
  • Only 3.6% of 4 month-old infants had < 20 ng of vitamin D (vs 60% of mothers)
  • The study ignored vitamin D produced by the sun
  • 'Note by VitaminDWiki: At 27 degrees latitude and 1400 meter elevation Napelse infants can get lots of UV
  • 'Note by VitaminDWiki: Many dark-skinned women avoid the sun or even apply skin lighteners
  • Vitamin D tests were made 4-9 months after birth, when mother still had low levels due to pregnancy but infant had some sunbathing
    See clip at bottom of the page from discussion section

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Items in both categories Infant-Child and Noontime sun are listed here:


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Background: Describing vitamin D status and its predictors in various populations is important in order to target public health measures.

Objectives: To describe the status and predictors of vitamin D status in healthy Nepalese mothers and infants. Methods: 500 randomly selected Nepalese mother and infant pairs were included in a cross-sectional study. Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by LC-MS/MS and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify predictors of vitamin D status.

Results: Among the infants, the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (25(OH)D <50 nmol/L) and deficiency (<30 nmol/L) were 3.6% and 0.6%, respectively, in contrast to 59.8% and 14.0% among their mothers. Infant 25(OH)D concentrations were negatively associated with infant age and positively associated with maternal vitamin D status and body mass index (BMI), explaining 22% of the variability in 25(OH)D concentration. Global solar radiation, maternal age and BMI predicted maternal 25(OH)D concentration, explaining 9.7% of its variability.

Conclusion: Age and maternal vitamin D status are the main predictors of vitamin D status in infants in Bhaktapur, Nepal, who have adequate vitamin D status despite poor vitamin D status in their mothers.

From discussion section in PDF

“In some areas of Nepal there is a tradition of outdoor breastfeeding, with subsequent infant sun-exposure, and these habits have previously been thought to be associated with vitamin D status in Nepalese children [6]. Outdoor breastfeeding habits could be a possible explanation for the good vitamin D status in the infants. Additionally, the tradition in the Bhaktapur area of sunbathing the babies while massaging them in oil would also definitely contribute to the skin-synthesis of vitamin D3 in the infants. Sun-exposure was not precisely investigated, but differences in sun-exposure are a possible reason for vitamin D sufficiency among infants and insufficiency among the mothers.”

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
7549 Nepalese Infants.pdf PDF 2016 admin 21 Dec, 2016 14:48 795.94 Kb 147
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