In the fast-paced life and humdrum of modern life, pretending a lack of time, the current generation is not attending to basic bodily needs and is putting their health at risk.” Vitamin D” deficiency is emerging as a major public health problem. Adequate exposure of the body to sunlight, which is freely and abundantly available in India can address it. Vitamin D deficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. Approximately over one billion people worldwide, encompassing all ethnicities and age groups, have a “Vitamin D deficiency (VDD)’. This pandemic of hypovitaminosis D is an outcome of poor lifestyle choices such as reduced outdoor activities, air pollution, and poor exposure to sunlight. On exposure to the skin, UVB rays of the sun produce “vit D” in the body.
Vitamin D is a nutrient found in some foods that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones. It does so by helping the body absorb calcium, which is one of the bones’ main building blocks from food and supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to secondary hyperparathyroidism that causes increased bone loss, osteopenia (weak bones), osteomalacia (soft bones), and osteoporosis (brittle bones), and the scarcity of “vit D” will lead to higher fracture risk. A severe vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle weakness, cramps, and pain.
Vitamin D is referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” On exposure of skin to sunlight, vitamin D is produced by the body.
Foods rich in “vit D” are fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks. It is also found in fortified dairy products, grain products, orange juice, soy milk, cheese, and cereals.
Exposing the body (with a white half-sleeve shirt and half-pant) in the morning sun is a good health initiative. “Weak bones, lack of calcium, and various skin and hair issues can be solved by morning exposure to the sun.” However, western literature recommends an ideal exposure time of between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. At least 20–30 minutes of exposure to sunlight is essential.
Adequate vitamin D in the body can prevent diseases like cancer, rickets, arthritis, heart disease, respiratory disorders, tuberculosis, obesity, depression, etc. Sunlight is potent energy which produces vitamin D to fight against bacteria and viruses. Sunshine exposure is a mood elevator; it increases appetite and reduces insomnia.
Senior citizens, particularly women, are at a higher risk of bone fractures. Children suffer from rickets. Allow children to play in the sunshine. To overcome ‘Vit D’ deficiency, all are advised to get exposed to the lord of light, ‘SUN’. Hence “SURYADEVOBHAVA”
Dr. Pramod N. Sulikeri, Ph.D. Sr. Heart-Lung Transplant Coordinator, KLES: Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital, Belagavi, (M) 98443 66188, email: [email protected]