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      Vitamin D status indicators in indigenous populations in East Africa.

      European Journal of Nutrition

      25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2, blood, Adult, African Continental Ancestry Group, Animals, Biological Markers, Calcifediol, Diet, adverse effects, ethnology, Environmental Exposure, Female, Fetal Blood, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Lactation, Life Style, Male, Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Nutritional Status, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, etiology, Sunlight, Tanzania, Vitamin D Deficiency, prevention & control

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          Abstract

          Sufficient vitamin D status may be defined as the evolutionary established circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] matching our Paleolithic genome. We studied serum 25(OH)D [defined as 25(OH)D₂ + 25(OH)D₃] and its determinants in 5 East African ethnical groups across the life cycle: Maasai (MA) and Hadzabe (HA) with traditional life styles and low fish intakes, and people from Same (SA; intermediate fish), Sengerema (SE; high fish), and Ukerewe (UK; high fish). Samples derived from non-pregnant adults (MA, HA, SE), pregnant women (MA, SA, SE), mother-infant couples at delivery (UK), infants at delivery and their lactating mothers at 3 days (MA, SA, SE), and lactating mothers at 3 months postpartum (SA, SE). Erythrocyte docosahexaenoic acid (RBC-DHA) was determined as a proxy for fish intake. The mean ± SD 25(OH)D of non-pregnant adults and cord serum were 106.8 ± 28.4 and 79.9 ± 26.4 nmol/L, respectively. Pregnancy, delivery, ethnicity (which we used as a proxy for sunlight exposure), RBC-DHA, and age were the determinants of 25(OH)D. 25(OH)D increased slightly with age. RBC-DHA was positively related to 25(OH)D, notably 25(OH)D₂. Pregnant MA (147.7 vs. 118.3) and SE (141.9 vs. 89.0) had higher 25(OH)D than non-pregnant counterparts (MA, SE). Infant 25(OH)D at delivery in Ukerewe was about 65 % of maternal 25(OH)D. Our ancient 25(OH)D amounted to about 115 nmol/L and sunlight exposure, rather than fish intake, was the principal determinant. The fetoplacental unit was exposed to high 25(OH)D, possibly by maternal vitamin D mobilization from adipose tissue, reduced insulin sensitivity, trapping by vitamin D-binding protein, diminished deactivation, or some combination.

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          22878781
          10.1007/s00394-012-0421-6

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