It's has been a little over two months and most of us haven't been able to to get our daily dose of Sunshine. The sun is the primary and most important natural source of Vitamin D, which is why it's called the It is called Sunshine Vitamin.
When our skin is exposed to sunlight it produces Vitamin D, which plays a number roles in the body. Prolonged periods of deficiency may have a many ill effects on our body and its various mechanisms at the cellular level, points out Dr Manish Sontakke, Consultant Joint Replacement Surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital.
According to a study published in the Irish Medical Journal, Vitamin D plays an important role in Coronavirus resistance, he says. Being an immune system modulator, Vit-D has a key role in fighting respiratory disorders. With the lockdown across India, most people are homebound for almost the entire day, so getting this crucial vitamin is a big challenge. Vitamin D supplements should be consumed strictly as per your doctor's advice, he warns.
Dr Sontakke underlines the effects of Vit-D deficiency:
Delay in normal bone growth and development of teeth in children, often causing deformities of the lower limbs called Rickets
It can cause growth retardation and unexplained bone pains in children
In adults and elderly it causes soft bones (Osteomalacia) and fragile bones (Osteoporosis) often resulting in debilitating fractures.
Stress fractures are also common in severe deficiency and a cause of chronic pain in both young and elderly people
Commonest symptoms are unexplained excessive body ache (Fibromyalgia), lethargy, malaise and weakness
The expert suggests from dietary sources to get your daily dose of Vitamin D:
Fish - Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Shrimp, Fish Liver Oil
Dairy: Fortified Milk, Cheese, Yogurt & Butter
Fortified orange juice and cereals
Exposure to sun: Ensure that sunlight enters your house by keeping the windows open. You may sit in areas that have sufficient sun exposure for at least 30mins, make sure your hands and legs are exposed and stretched out.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])