Vitamin D status indicators in indigenous populations in East Africa
- 562 Downloads
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.
Keywords25-Hydroxyvitamin D Evolution East Africa Sunlight exposure Fish intake Pregnancy
We thank NIMR, Tanzania, for their correspondence and help in the writing of our proposal for ethical clearance. We further thank em. Prof. E. R. Boersma, Prof. J. J. M. van Roosmalen, Prof. S. Massawe, Prof. A. Massawe, Prof. G. V. Mann, J. van der Meulen, P. Gunneweg, P. Schwerzel, R. Shaffer, Dr. J. Changalucha, Drs. C. van Rij, Sr. M. J. Voeten, J. Lugalla, G. Msafiri, N. Mchomvu, S. Mazzuki, rafiki Martini, and all other staff, doctors, and nurses from the local hospitals in Tanzania for their help in our project. We thank Dr. M. Volmer, for his statistical and technical assistance and the VSB Foundation and FrieslandCampina (Dr. A. Schaafsma) for their financial support.
Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
- 10.Stringer C (2000) Palaeoanthropology. Coasting out of Africa. Nature 405:24,5, 27Google Scholar
- 15.Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, Del Valle HB (2011) Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Available at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/13050.html. Accessed 25 Dec 2011
- 26.Hanekamp JC (2006) The precautionary principle: a critique in the context of the EU food supplements directive. Available at: http://anh-europe.org/files/PrecautionaryPrinciple-Critique-FSD-HanekampBast-EL06-2.pdf
- 29.Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, Nikolova D et al (2011) Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 7:1–202Google Scholar
- 34.Gezondheidsraad (2008) Naar een toereikende inname van vitamine D. Available at: http://www.gezondheidsraad.nl/sites/default/files/200815c.pdf
- 37.Luxwolda MF, Kuipers RS, Kema IP et al (2012) Traditionally living populations in East Africa have a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 115 nmol/l. Br J Nutr 23:1–5Google Scholar
- 38.Marlowe F (2002) Why the Hadza are still hunter-gatherers. Ethnicity, hunter-gatherers, and the “other”: association or assimilation in Africa. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp 247–275Google Scholar
- 46.Taylor SN, Wagner CL, Hollis BW (2008) Vitamin D supplementation during lactation to support infant and mother. J Am Coll Nutr 27:690–701Google Scholar
- 48.Linhares ER, Jones DA, Round JM et al (1984) Effect of nutrition on vitamin D status: studies on healthy and poorly nourished Brazilian children. Am J Clin Nutr 39:625–630Google Scholar
- 50.Bourre JM, Paquotte PM (2008) Contributions (in 2005) of marine and fresh water products (finfish and shellfish, seafood, wild and farmed) to the French dietary intakes of vitamins D and B12, selenium, iodine and docosahexaenoic acid: impact on public health. Int J Food Sci Nutr 59:491–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 54.Luxwolda MF, Kuipers RS, Sango WS et al (2011) A maternal erythrocyte DHA content of approximately 6 g% is the DHA status at which intrauterine DHA biomagnifications turns into bioattenuation and postnatal infant DHA equilibrium is reached. Eur J Nutr [Epub ahead of print]Google Scholar
- 56.Bjorn LO, Wang T (2000) Vitamin D in an ecological context. Int J Circumpolar Health 59:26–32Google Scholar
- 59.Salle BL, Delvin EE, Lapillonne A et al (2000) Perinatal metabolism of vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr 71:1317S–1324SGoogle Scholar
- 62.Cross NA, Hillman LS, Allen SH et al (1995) Calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism during pregnancy, lactation, and postweaning: a longitudinal study. Am J Clin Nutr 61:514–523Google Scholar
- 74.Hollis BW, Wagner CL (2004) Vitamin D requirements during lactation: high-dose maternal supplementation as therapy to prevent hypovitaminosis D for both the mother and the nursing infant. Am J Clin Nutr 80:1752S–1758SGoogle Scholar