Majority of Women in Taiwan Have Insufficient Vitamin D: Study

vitamin D
Photo by Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

According to a study of Taiwanese women aged 20 to 35, more than 70% suffer from insufficient levels of vitamin D. This was the first study in Taiwan that involved only women of childbearing age, Apple Daily reported.

Dr. Hung Chi-ting (洪啟庭) and his team at Kaohsiung’s Fooyin University (輔英科技大學) department of ophthalmology studied 125 women for a year. They tested the women’s vitamin D levels each month to collect their results. Of those involved in the study, 72% had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Dr. Hung noted that the women in northern Taiwan had lower levels of vitamin D than their counterparts in southern Taiwan.

Doctors warned that insufficient vitamin D levels can increase the risk of miscarriage. Hsiao Sheng-wen (蕭勝文), head of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, said that studies in Australia have shown that a lack of vitamin D can cause complications during pregnancy and increase the risk of a miscarriage. Hsiao added that children born to women with insufficient vitamin D levels also have reduced lung function and may have learning problems.

While the study focused on the effects of vitamin D and pregnancy, the study also found a correlation between vitamin D levels and income. The women were categorized by income levels ranging from more than NT$50,000 per month, NT$40,000-50,000, NT$35,000-40,000, NT$20,000-35,000, and less than NT$20,000. Women in the study with lower incomes had higher levels of vitamin D.

Doctors said that women in the north tend to have higher salaries and spend more time in offices than those in the south. He recommends spending 15-20 minutes per day in the sun to improve vitamin D levels.

A lack of vitamin D is also connected with the body’s inability to absorb calcium and osteoporosis over time.

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