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Deficiency in micronutrients in soil linked to the health of children and women

 

Source: DTE

 Context: A new study titled “Soil micronutrients linked to human health in India,” has revealed a significant connection between soil micronutrients and the nutritional well-being of individuals, particularly children and adult women.

  

Key Findings:

  • The study found that districts with a higher proportion of soil zinc samples showed notably lower rates of child stunting and underweight.
  • Soil zinc availability was linked to increased height in women.
  • The research also highlighted a strong correlation between soil iron availability and health outcomes, including anaemia among women and haemoglobin levels among both children and women.

  

Relevance to India:

  • Around 35% of the country’s soil is estimated to be deficient in zinc, and about 11% is estimated to lack iron.
  • India accounts for about one-third of the global population affected by micronutrient deficiencies, as indicated by the Global Nutrition Report 2018.

The study suggests that leveraging soil mineral availability could potentially help mitigate the prevalence of anaemia across a large portion of the population.