Vitamin D is a vital nutrient which aids in bone development. We have learnt that our body produces Vitamin D with exposure to sunlight. We do not find the need to expose ourselves in sunlight because of fully air-conditioned office spaces and homes. We find it cosy and nice, never to be in the heat of the sun. Vitamin deficiency is higher in countries which are the sunniest such as Middle Easter Countries, Countries in the Indian Subcontinent because of cultural factors.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common medical conditions and we are in a state to take supplements to satiate our Vitamin D needs. Vitamin D is a lipid-soluble vitamin which plays a main role in maintaining skeletal integrity and function, electrolyte reabsorption, immune system and aids in several other systems of the body. Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin with the exposure to sunlight which contains ultraviolet rays
Now with the lockdown, the exposure to sunlight is slashed to a bare minimum. This causes reduced absorption of calcium, which reflects in your body as poor bone health. Vitamin D deficiency has become a global health problem and is also referred to as “An Ignored Epidemic”
Usually, 50 to 90 per cent of vitamin D is produced exposure to sunlight and the remainder comes from diet. Important sources of vitamin D are egg yolk, fatty fish and dairy products.
In adults, Vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia. Osteomalacia causes weakness in bones and muscles. Bone pain, muscle pain and chronic fatigue are caused by lack of Vitamin D. Lookout for the following symptoms:
- Getting sick often
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Bone and Back pain
- Slow healing
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
Sun-kissed and not Sun-burnt!
Though we know that the go-to remedy for vitamin D deficiency is exposure to the sun. Overexposure to sunlight might also get your skin burnt or increase your chance of skin cancer. Short exposure to sunlight can allow your body to meet all the vitamin D needs.
Skin colour matters!
People with pale skin produce more vitamin D than a person with dark skin because of the presence of melanin in darker skin shades. Melanin protects the skin from UV rays therefore also reducing the production of Vitamin D.
Quick tip 1: Get to your balcony or terrace soon after you wake up and get some sunshine on your body. The more skin is exposed the more you produce Vitamin D.
Quick tip 2: Combine your exercise routine with sun exposure time. Note: Keep yourself well hydrated before doing this.