Milk is a rich source of calcium, but is unavailable for absorption as it lacks vitamin D. Vitamin D is the carrier necessary for depositing calcium into the bones. So, milk without Vitamin D is worth nothing.
There are two reasons of Vitamin D deficiency in India:
First, we have stopped soaking in the sun rays in the morning for this. Second, our skin is covered with a layer called melanin that does not allow sun rays, laden with Vitamin D, to penetrate our skin sufficiently. It means even those who regularly absorb sun rays do not get sufficient Vitamin D due to opaque skin.
‘Vitamin D fortification of milk is necessary for preventing a number of diseases.’
Dr Aashish Chaudhry, managing director of Aakash Healthcare and a renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon advocated, "Vitamin D fortification of Milk for preventing a number of diseases in addition to weakening of bone."
Adding, "Milk we drink is wasted for want of Vitamin D in the body. Milk fortification by Vitamin D is a global norm. India is one of the select few countries where this valuable aspect of milk is being ignored. Fortified milk can solve issues of many other diseases too. New studies have found that deficiency of Vitamin D underlie many diseases namely auto immune disorder, arthritis, infertility, skin disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis et al."
He further said, "Given the escalating disease burden here, milk fortification should be adopted soon. It calls for a nationwide campaign on the line of polio plus, a veritable revolution. Vitamin D is involved in many metabolic pathways and is a very important component of health."
According to him, it has to be an initiative of the government. People, in general, need to be educated which no private agency can afford to do because of enormity of the task.
We mostly know two kinds of milk, full cream milk and toned milk. They do not know that fortification alone can make milk more useful and enriched.
Dr Chaudhry concluded, "Only sensitized people can put pressure on milk companies to produce fortified milk. In other countries, companies are producing only fortified milk. The campaign for milk fortification in India must be started forthwith for the prevention of a number of diseases. Milk sans Vitamin D is not much of use."