3 in 10 have vitamin D deficiency - despite Singapore's sunny reputation - AsiaOne
SINGAPORE - A study published on Sept 3 in medical journal JAMA Network Open suggested that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a higher risk of Covid-19. Vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin when it is exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) B rays of th…
SINGAPORE - A study published on Sept 3 in medical journal JAMA Network Open suggested that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a higher risk of Covid-19. Vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin when it is exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) B rays of the sun. But despite Singapore's reputation as a "sunny island", many here are deficient in this vitamin. The 2010 National Health Survey found that 40 per cent of Singaporeans were deficient in vitamin D, while another 8 per cent were very deficient. And the figures do not seem to have improved much over the past decade. Assistant Professor Verena Tan, an expert in dietetics and nutrition at the Singapore Institute of Technology, cited a 2019 study which found that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among indoor workers here was 32.9 per cent. Office workers, those who work in workshops and those on night shift were also found to be at a greater risk of this condition. Dr Tan told The Straits Times on Tuesday (Sept 15) that the condition is prevalent not only in Singapore but also elsewhere in South-east Asia - despite the presence of sunlight all year round. "Sun-protection behaviours such as use of sunscreen, staying in the shade or indoors, the wearing of long sleeves and using umbrellas are common practices in this region," she explained. Some of those who engage in such behaviours may do so to protect themselves from skin cancer, which is also caused by UV rays. But blocking the rays also means blocking a source of vitamin D production, she said. The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and maintain its bone structure. Together with calcium, vitamin D is effective in preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures, she noted. Dr Tan added that emerging evidence also shows that vitamin D is critical for one's immune function. "A deficiency may compromise immune response and increase risk of infection and disease," she said. To get an adequate amount of vitamin D, she said, people are recommended to get sun exposure on their arms and legs for about five to 30 minutes twice a week. [[nid:464077]] The best time to do so is between 10am and 3pm each day, she said, adding that people with paler skin require less sun exposure than those with darker skin. Vitamin D can also be found in eggs, liver and oily fish. Other sources include fortified food products such as milk, soya milk, yogurt, orange juice, breakfast cereals and margarine. The daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D for those aged 18 and up is 2.5 mcg per day. One large egg yolk contains 1.02mcg of vitamin D, and one 250ml cup of fortified milk contains 2.9 to 3.1 mcg. "Hence, it is easy to achieve adequate vitamin D from food and sun exposure," said Dr Tan. She noted, however, that more vitamin D is not always better, as too much may result in negative side-effects such as a build-up of calcium in the blood, which can cause nausea and vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination. Too much vitamin D may also lead to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones. "Always check with a doctor or dietitian before starting a vitamin D supplement or any high-dosage supplement," said Dr Tan. This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.
513 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 2 in the community and 6 imported - AsiaOne
SINGAPORE - There were 513 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Saturday noon (July 25), taking Singapore's total to 49,888. They included two community cases, both of whom are work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were also six importe…
SINGAPORE - There were 513 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Saturday noon (July 25), taking Singapore's total to 49,888. They included two community cases, both of whom are work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were also six imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore. Migrant workers living in dormitories made up the vast majority of the other cases. More details will be announced on Saturday night. On Friday, one of the three Covid-19 community cases announced by MOH was linked to three previous cases, forming a new cluster at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub. He is a 28-year-old work permit holder who went to work at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot and the transport hub. The Malaysian national was confirmed to have the virus on Thursday after showing symptoms on July 1. He was detected as part of the ministry's proactive case finding of individuals working at a newly emergent workplace cluster. In total, there were 277 new coronavirus cases confirmed on Friday. They included the three community cases, all of whom are work permit holders, said MOH. There were also two imported coronavirus cases. Both were dependant's pass holders and were placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore from India on July 12. They were tested while serving their notices. Migrant workers in dormitories made up the 272 remaining cases. The average number of new daily cases in the community in a week has decreased from 11 cases two weeks ago to eight in the past week. The number of new unlinked cases in the community in a week has decreased from a daily average of six cases to four over the same period. MOH also added several new locations to a list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious, including Hillion Mall in Bukit Panjang, which is integrated with the Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub linked to Friday's new cluster. Hillion Mall's My Briyani House eatery was also on Friday's list, together with Jem mall's Robinsons outlet, and the Gandhi Restaurant in Chander Road in Little India. The ministry provides the list of locations and times that infectious Covid-19 patients visited for at least 30 minutes to get those who were at these places at specific periods to monitor their health closely for two weeks from the date of their visit. MOH has said that close contacts would already have been notified and there is no need to avoid these places as they would have been cleaned, if needed. With 157 cases discharged on Friday, 45,157 patients have fully recovered from the disease. A total of 157 patients remain in hospital, while 4,019 are recuperating in community facilities. None is in intensive care. Singapore has had 27 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes. Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 15.9 million people. More than 641,000 people have died. For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here. This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.
K-pop singer Babi pleads with Malaysians to stop mocking her name - AsiaOne
What happens when a pair of words sound the same but has different meanings in different languages? In linguistics, it's known as 'false friends', but on social media, it has become ammunition for Malaysians to mock a K-pop singer who goes by the stage name B…
What happens when a pair of words sound the same but has different meanings in different languages? In linguistics, it's known as 'false friends', but on social media, it has become ammunition for Malaysians to mock a K-pop singer who goes by the stage name Babi. Babi (whose real name is So Young) is part of the South Korean girl group Fly With Me. Unfortunately, her stage name also happens to be the Malay word for 'pig', an animal which is considered haram, or forbidden, in Islamic law. While the word itself isn't offensive, the negative association with pigs has made the word become an insult. And it seems that Malaysians (according to Babi's claims) have flocked to her Instagram account to mock her stage name. In a screengrab taken by digital publication The Rakyat Post, netizens left comments which referred to Babi as a "beautiful pig". The comments ranged from "Why is this pig so beautiful" and "This is the most beautiful pig in the world", to "Babi, let's be friends. I want to be friends with a 'pig' because all this time, I can only say the word but can't be friends - now it is possible". In response to the mockery, Babi pleaded with Malaysian netizens to stop. She wrote: "Malaysians who came here to mock my name have to see this post. Why are you doing this to me? Just because my name is your laughing stock? (sic) "Are you [having] fun with this? I am not interested in your language. So it doesn't matter what my name means in your language." [embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/CA8hRBrHl2E/[/embed] It's also a shame because the bullying has caused Babi to declare that she no longer wants to get to know Malaysia. She added: "I didn't know your country, but I don't want to know it anymore." [email protected]