Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Health Consequences in Africa

Ann Prentice, Inez Schoenmakers, Kerry S. Jones, Landing M. A. Jarjou, Gail R. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Africa is heterogeneous in latitude, geography, climate, food availability, religious and cultural practices, and skin pigmentation. It is expected, therefore, that prevalence of vitamin D deficiency varies widely, in line with influences on skin exposure to UVB sunshine. Furthermore, low calcium intakes and heavy burden of infectious disease common in many countries may increase vitamin D utilization and turnover. Studies of plasma 25OHD concentration indicate a spectrum from clinical deficiency to values at the high end of the physiological range; however, data are limited. Representative studies of status in different countries, using comparable analytical techniques, and of relationships between vitamin D status and risk of infectious and chronic diseases relevant to the African context are needed. Public health measures to secure vitamin D adequacy cannot encompass the whole continent and need to be developed locally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-106
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009

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