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“Get out in the sun”, Thai doctors

PHOTO: Thailand Discovery

A Thai doctor is urging her fellow citizens to get out in the sun, saying blood tests show most are deficient in Vitamin D. In a report by Nation Thailand, Dr Rojanaree Thitisuwan from Vejthani Hospital says 99% of people who had their vitamin levels tested were found to be lacking in Vitamin D.

The doctor says most of them are people working indoors or people who choose to stay out of the sun because they don’t want their skin getting darker (a common cultural preference in parts of Asia).

The latest findings back up a recent article from the Faculty of Medicine at Mahidol University. The article states that Vitamin D levels in city residents in Thailand have been found to be much lower than farmers in the northeast of the country.

In addition, the findings showed that Vitamin D levels were much lower in young people, compared to older age groups. This is due to younger people spending more time indoors and rarely choosing to exercise outdoors.

The article was based on a Mahidol Nutrition Institute study of children aged 12 years and younger. Ten years ago, the institute had studied 3,100 children in Bangkok, Lopburi, Chiang Mai, Phang Nga, Si Sa Ket and Kalasin, and carried out a similar study this year.

In comparing both studies, the ratio of Thai children who are deficient in Vitamin D was found to be 40% higher than it was 10 years ago. A third of those studied were found to be lacking in Vitamin D.

The study is part of a wider Southeast Asia Nutrition Survey, which covers Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. According to the institute, studies in the neighbouring countries reveal similar findings.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, which causes a softening of the bones in children, along with tooth decay and a compromised immune system, according to academics at Mahidol University.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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