New research published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has found that nearly all women in reproductive age in Mongolia are not getting enough vitamin D.
Getting the right amount of nutrients during reproductive age is important. During pregnancy, nutrients are important for the unborn child, their development and their risk of developing diseases later in life.
In past studies, researchers have found a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the Mongolian population, particularly in children. Mongolia is far away from the equator and doesn’t get very many intense sunrays. In consequence, Mongolians are not able to make much vitamin D.
In the present study, 420 women between the ages of 18 and 44 were recruited for anthropometric, lifestyle and serum vitamin D measurements.
The researchers found that 99% of the women were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/ml) and only one woman had a sufficient level (>30 ng/ml). They also found that throughout the year, only four months (March – July) produced adequate, synthesizable sunlight, meaning intense enough sunlight to help your body make vitamin D.
Researchers also found that higher educational status correlated with higher supplementation of vitamin D. However, no further correlations were found for other demographic, lifestyle, and anthropometric data.
The researchers concluded that dietary fortification and supplementation is crucial for Mongolian women of reproductive age, children, and all of the nation’s population.
Ganmaa D, et al. Vitamin D Deficiency in Reproductive Age Mongolian Women: A Cross Sectional Study. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2013.