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Less sun, fad diets limit Vitamin D

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jul 13, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Less sun, more breast feeding and low-carb diets contribute to Vitamin D deficiency, U.S. nutrition experts said in an online medical panel.

The experts, convened by MedPanel Inc., a medical market intelligence company, estimated between 30 percent and 50 percent of the U.S. population is Vitamin-D deficient, which leads to problems with growth, bone and cognitive development in children and bone pain and fractures in adults.

Panel members said the deficiency may result from less exposure to the sun -- a natural Vitamin-D source -- resulting from increased fears of skin cancer risk and violence outdoors.

Also, lack of sun exposure has reduced Vitamin D levels in breast milk and more mothers are exclusively breast-feeding children, passing on nutritional deficiency, the panel said.

Although the experts generally agreed excess sunlight is dangerous, most said reasonable amounts of sun exposure might be beneficial, although sun exposure should not be medically advised.

Low-carbohydrate diets also tend to reduce milk intake, contributing to Vitamin-D deficiency, the panelists said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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