Search results

1 – 2 of 2
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Maria Marina Serrao Cabral, Angelo Jose Goncalves Bos, Hidemori Amano, Satoshi Seino and Shoji Shinkai

This paper aims to observe the possible relationship between skin color, sun exposure level, UV protection and food intake and serum levels of 25(OH) D in Japanese older adults.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to observe the possible relationship between skin color, sun exposure level, UV protection and food intake and serum levels of 25(OH) D in Japanese older adults.

Design/methodology/approach

Elderly (n = 131; 65-93 years old), followed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology in the Kusatsu (36°N) received a self-applicable questionnaire about the quantity and quality of the daily sun exposure and behavior to avoid the sun. A color analyzer measured each red (R), green (G) and blue (B) component of skin color, and dietary vitamin D was estimated by food frequency questionnaire. Serum 25(OH) D levels were collected and categorized as sufficiency (>30 ng/mL), insufficiency (between 20 and 30 ng/mL) and deficiency (<20 ng/mL).

Findings

High proportion of participants had insufficiency (53 per cent) and deficiency (25 per cent) levels of 25(OH) D. Insufficiency levels were more prevalent in women (57 per cent, p = 0.048) and in participants that use gloves (49 per cent, p = 0.054) and sunscreen on face (76 per cent, p = 0.003) as a sun protection way. Participants with sufficiency levels of 25(OH) D presented lower values of R (p = 0.067), G (p = 0. 007) and B (p = 0.001) of skin color (what is meaning darker skin) and a higher fish intake (12 times per week).

Research limitations/implications

The study is a cross-sectional design and brings a potential for measurement error in the recorded subjective variables. There is a memory bias in self-reported sun exposure and food consumption; however, in the multivariate analysis, it was demonstrated a significant association. Second, although the authors have sought to evaluate a number of variables that could affect the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D, there are many other factors that may affect this ability that could not be accounted for. Another limitation was the assessment of self-reported ultraviolet exposure data rather than direct measurement of exposure.

Practical implications

It was also concluded that darker skin color (a surrogate of longer-term sun exposure) participants had a lower prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in this ethnic homogeneous population. When accessing patients’ skin color, the clinician must account for his or her ethnicity.

Social implications

Governments should regulate supplementation or food fortification with vitamin D, with special focus in countries with geographical location of insufficient solar radiation for skin synthesis of this vitamin. With this, it becomes a priority that a safe sun exposure ensures the sufficient serum levels of 25 (OH) D without the use of supplements.

Originality/value

This report was the first to analyze skin color components associated to vitamin D levels, finding that blue and green colors were significant. The clinical implication of this find is yet to understand. It was also concluded that darker skin color (a surrogate of longer-term sun exposure) participants had a lower prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in this ethnic homogeneous population. When accessing patients’ skin color, the clinician must account for his or her ethnicity.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Varun Chotia and N.V.M. Rao

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between infrastructure development, rural–urban income inequality and poverty for BRICS economies.

1289

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between infrastructure development, rural–urban income inequality and poverty for BRICS economies.

Design/methodology/approach

Pedroni’s panel co-integration test and panel dynamic ordinary least squares (PDOLS) have been used to carry out the analysis.

Findings

The empirical findings confirm a long-run relationship among infrastructure development, poverty and rural–urban inequality. The PDOLS results suggest that both infrastructure development and economic growth lead to poverty reduction in BRICS. However, rural–urban income inequality aggravates poverty in these nations. The paper advocates for adopting policies aimed at strengthening infrastructure and achieving economic growth to reduce the current levels of poverty prevailing in the BRICS nations.

Originality/value

Significant limitations exist in the literature in terms of not clearly defining the nature of relationship and interlinkages between infrastructure development, poverty and inequality, with regard to the BRICS nations. The available studies mainly focus on the relationship between infrastructure and growth, with the universal agreement being that these two are positively related. However, it is still not right to assume that economic growth attributable to infrastructure development will, therefore, subsequently lead to a reduction in inequality. This forms the basis for this study, that is, to critically examine the relationship between infrastructure development, inequality and poverty for BRICS nations.

1 – 2 of 2