When was the last time you ran after a bus or chased through the crowd to board a metro on your way to work? When did you last get to sit by the balcony at leisure and bask in the morning sun without having to worry about missing a Zoom call? These might seem like non-threatening changes in your life, compared to the other major changes imposed by the incessant lockdowns owing to the pandemic, but they could have a long-term adverse effect on the body and mind in the form of a Vitamin D deficiency.
Forced to stay indoors, people have become lethargic, put on weight, and developed various Vitamin deficiencies. With bare minimum exposure to sunlight, the main source of Vitamin D, we are risking our bone health and immune system. Vitamin D helps the body to function well by making the bones healthy, and strengthening the immune system; it is also known to prevent cancers, says celebrity nutritionist and founder of 'Fat To Slim', Sikha A. Sharma.
She explains the vitamin D deficiency in detail:
Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a vital role in our body by keeping one away from health issues like heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, bacterial infections, immunity disorder, rapid-ageing, some types of cancers and multiple sclerosis.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Initially, Vitamin D deficiency does not show any notable symptoms, but acute deficiency may cause muscle cramps, backache, fatigue and depression and sleep disorder among several other disorders.
Getting Enough Vitamin D When Homebound
Sun exposure is the best source of Vitamin D. One must try to soak in the early morning at least twice a week for about 15 to 20 minutes.
There are various food items rich in vitamin D like -- cod liver oil, coriander, orange, yoghurt, cheese, garlic, dark chocolate, black mustard seeds, mushrooms, turmeric, and Kashmiri garlic -- which can help one boost their immunity naturally.
One can also take Vitamin D supplements available at medical stores, however, it is advisable to consult a physician before consuming medical supplements.
Consumption of Vitamin D Rich Foods
Have two cloves of garlic or 4-5 cloves of Kashmiri garlic early in the morning on an empty stomach, and after dinner. A tiny bit of dark chocolate once a day is also a good source of Vitamin D.
Having mushrooms once a week will help balance vitamin D levels in one's body. One should try and include bajra or ragi roti in meals as well, to quicken the process of upping the vitamin level. Consumption of black mustard seeds and half a tablespoon of turmeric powder are helpful to boost vitamin D levels.
Can Too Much Vitamin D be Harmful?
Strangely enough, one cannot get too much Vitamin D from the sun but can overdo the supplements causing various problems. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but it can lead to hypercalcemia symptoms of which are: nausea, increased thirst and urination, and poor appetite.
Fret not, and try to lead a more natural way of life by eating seasonal foods and home-cooked meals, and being active in day-to-day life. These simple practices will keep the body and mind fit.
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Out of a number of deficiencies that bring health problems in general and to women in particular, iron deficiency is the leading one. Iron is necessary for producing haemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood. When our metabolic system lacks enough iron, our body doesn't get the required energy. And it happens due to the lack of iron in the diet, or when the body itself is unable to absorb iron from the food we eat.
Ayurveda, being a science of life and longevity recognises the importance of having adequate iron levels for good health, especially for women.
Dr Saurabh Sharma, Medical Superintendent, Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital, says: "Women are one of the vibrant lots, who play multiple roles in their lives that demand focus and integrative energy. However, due to over-burdening of work and the lack of proper dietary intake, sometimes, their bodies hold them back from performing at par in every sphere. And probably that is due to iron deficiency. Actually, iron deficiency could lead to fatigue, headaches, dizziness, damaged hair and skin, heart palpitations etc. These problems can often deprive them of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and hampers the work ecosystem. Also, the iron-deficiency leads to anaemia."
Adding further, he said, "It is seen that due to multiplicity of work, women suffer from fatigue and tiredness, low immunity, frequent headaches, pale skin, brittle nails, pale lips, hair loss, restless leg syndrome, depression and shortness of breath. And these problems may be due to iron deficiency because one out of 3 people is prone to iron deficiency. And the requirement of iron deficiency can't be fulfilled by the regular diet because our body can only extract 3 per cent iron from the plant source and 15 per cent from animal source diets. Therefore, to fulfil the requirement of iron that our body, especially the body of women needs Ayurvedic iron supplements, which correct the iron deficiency and anaemia."
It takes a while to develop symptoms of iron deficiency because the body uses stored and recycled iron to form new blood cells. And when the body is not able to provide enough iron, red blood cells begin to deplete, which is called the iron deficiency.
Ram Shrivastava, Director, Maharishi Ayurveda, says: "Iron deficiency is a commonly occurring problem, which is especially found in women. This is one of the major causes of anaemia. This is a critical mineral that helps the body in producing red blood cells (RBC) that contain metalloprotein, which carries oxygen molecules and nutrition for cells in the blood.
Lesser number of RBCs means lesser nutritional supply and oxygenation of cells, which depletes tissues and weakens organs of the body. However, herbal iron supplements increase the number of RBCs in the blood and rejuvenate all the organs of the body and cure problems like fatigue, lethargy, breathlessness, and stress effectively. Apart from these, it might be useful for the COVID infected patients, whose Hb levels are dipping followed by aches and pains."
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Protein is one of the most crucial nutrients required for the healthy functioning of our bodies. The role of protein is commonly misunderstood and is usually associated with muscle gain. Protein has multiple benefits, ranging from metabolism to muscle synthesis. This building block of our body should be an essential part of our diet and should be considered in order to lead a healthier lifestyle.
We all have different protein requirements based on our lifestyles and health factors. For example, a regular, active gym-goer would require more protein per day than your average sedentary man. Pallav Bihani, founder of Boldfit, speaks to IANSlife sharing major symptoms of protein deficiency:
You Can't Seem To Lose The Fat
Have you been working out relentlessly, eating clean and still not seeing a visible difference in your fat loss journey? You need protein. When you don't consume enough protein, your body cannot repair the muscles properly, which eventually leads to the loss of those hard-earned muscles instead of burning fat. Low protein intake can also dip your energy levels marginally, so make sure you are loaded up!
Low protein intake is also linked with unstable moods, irritability and brain fog. Protein is crucial for synthesising a variety of hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for our mood. Such as serotonin, the hormone which makes one feel safe and happy. Missing out on protein can therefore cause fluctuations in one's mood.
Our body requires specific nutrients to be up and running whenever we need to hustle. When you provide inadequate protein, it causes your blood sugar levels to drop, which causes your body to trigger cravings for a quick fix. Consume protein-rich foods to make sure that your blood sugar levels are stable.
Calcium is essential for skeletal integrity, but did you know that 50 per cent of our bones are protein in terms of volume. Along with vitamin D and Calcium, dietary protein is crucial for bone health and longevity. Protein plays a huge role in preserving bone density with ageing.
Skin, Hair and Nail Problems
Your skin, hair and nails are primarily made of protein, and so naturally, a deficiency in protein would reflect on them too. Severe protein deficiency may even cause redness, flaky skin and depigmentation. It may also cause hair thinning, fading, hair loss and brittle nails. Edema, which leads to puffy and swollen skin, is another classic symptom of protein deficiencies.
A safe thumb rule is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (i.e.If you weigh 60 kgs, your ideal protein intake goal is between 60 and 90 grams per day). Consume protein from natural sources like meat, eggs, fish, dairy, legumes, soy, and if you cannot meet your goal intake, then invest in protein supplements like whey protein, vegan protein powder and BCAAs.
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It is a universal fact that a wholesome diet is mandatory for a healthy body. Lack of nutrition can lead to various diseases. The whole dietary pattern can be defined as the quantity, frequency, variety and combination of different foods and drinks that need to be consumed. Deficiency of any nutrients may cause physical, mental, and behavioural effects, says an expert.
Aseem Sood, Managing Director, Proveda India, shares insights on the dietary pattern and its behavioural impact.
If you find your child being tired and often irritated, then it is important to know the cause of it. These kids are also disruptive, have a short attention span and lack interest in their surroundings. Such behavioural changes are cause due to a lack of iron in the body. Iron deficiency can cause Anaemia. It is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body's tissues. Iron deficiency is commonly seen in preschool children and if they are not given iron-rich foods then they are easily prone to this deficiency.
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Vitamin A Deficiency
We often hear parents complaining about their kids being very aggressive and have rule-breaking behaviour. These kids show anxiety disorders in adolescence. Forgetfulness and low energy level show the deficiency of Vitamin A which is a very crucial group of nutrients. It is also required for a healthy reproductive system in men and women. Green and orange vegetables are a great source of Vitamin A nutrients. For newborn babies, breast milk is considered the best source of vitamin A.
In many cases, we have seen that children with mental disabilities, impaired intellectual development or impaired growth are victims of low iodine. Almost a third of the world's population is shaken by Iodine deficiency. Thyroid hormones are a part of various physical growth like brain development, strong bones and regulating the metabolic rate in the body. The most widespread symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland. This may also cause an increase in heart rate, breathing problem, and weight gain.
If a person, irrespective of age groups, experiences weakness throughout, lack of energy and an overall feeling of sluggishness. Fatigue due to calcium deficiency can also lead to light headedness and dizziness which is also characterized by a lack of focus, forgetfulness, and confusion. Moreover, calcium works as a communicating particle. Without this, your heart, muscles, and nerves would not be able to function. Dairy products and dark green vegetables are a good source of calcium.
A deficit of Magnesium can be seen through some symptoms like hyperactivity where the kid is fidgeting with hand or feet or is squirms in the seat. They become impulsive and don't have control over their anger or movements. Their lack of attention, careless mistakes, loss of interest in a certain task where mental effort is required are all signs of low magnesium. The deficiency of magnesium can also lead to several conditions like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. In a long-term symptom, one may not notice insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
Improving diet intake is not easily achieved. Healthy eating patterns are all about regular consumption of a variety of foods from key food groups which includes cereal and cereal products, fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products. Every so often, consuming foods contributing an equal quantity of nutrients to our health quotient is not possible and hence Immunity boosters are supplemented in our meal to fill in the required minerals. Considering the present scenario, Proveda India launched a segment of immunity boosters and drinks that are a unique combination of science and nature.
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London, Patients with lupus are more likely to have metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance -- both factors linked to heart disease -- if they have lower vitamin D levels, a new study reveals.
Lupus is an uncommon incurable immune system illness, more common in women, where the immune system is overactive, causing inflammation anywhere in the body.
Researchers believe that boosting vitamin D levels may improve control of these cardiovascular risk factors, as well as improving long-term outcomes for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
"Our results suggest that co-existing physiological abnormalities may contribute to long-term cardiovascular risk early on in SLE," said researcher John A Reynolds, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham.
"We found a link between lower levels of vitamin D and metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Further studies could confirm whether restoring vitamin D levels helps to reduce these cardiovascular risk factors and improve quality of life for patients with lupus,"Reynolds added.
Given that photosensitivity is a key feature of SLE, the researchers say that a combination of avoiding the sun, using high-factor sunblock and living in more northerly countries may contribute to lower levels of vitamin D in lupus patients.
For the study, published in the journal Rheumatology the team studied vitamin D levels in 1,163 SLE patients across 33 centres in 11 countries.
The researchers note that patients with SLE have an excess cardiovascular risk, up to 50 times that seen in people without the condition -- this cannot be attributed to traditional cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure or smoking, alone.
The mechanisms underlying the association between high blood pressure and low vitamin D in SLE are not clear, but researchers believe they may be linked to impact of vitamin D deficiency on the renin-angiotensin hormone system, which regulates blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte balance, as well as systemic vascular resistance. (Agency)
Chennai, March 10 (IANS) A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has found energy deficiency in certain cells in the human brain to be a major cause for Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disorder.According to the team, it is known that Parkinson's disease is caused by the loss of dopaminergic cells (located in the central nervous system) in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), a key component of the ventral midbrain."It is quite remarkable that loss of neurons in a small nucleus like SNc can have wide-ranging, devastating effects in all the four major domains of brain function -- sensory-motor, cognitive, affective and autonomous," V. Srinivasa Chakravarthy from the institution said in a statement."The sequence of the three computational studies suggests that metabolic deficiency within the basal ganglia circuit is the common underlying factor at the subcellular, cellular and network level in Parkinson's disease. Thus, we have a reasonably comprehensive theory of the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease," Chakravarthy added.For the study, published in the International Journal of Scientific Reports, the team developed a computational model that showed that energy deficiency might be a major cause of SNc cell loss in Parkinson's disease.At the subcellular level, metabolic deficiency leads to changes like including alpha-synuclein aggregation, reactive oxygen species production, calcium elevation, and dopamine dysfunction, which are characteristic subcellular changes in Parkinson's disease, the study indicated.This research aims to build a simplified model of the whole brain and use it to develop applications in medicine and engineering, the team said.Parkinson's disease is the second most prominent neurodegenerative disease around the globe after Alzheimer's disease.--IANSvc/sdr/