The Curious case of Vitamin D
Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Do you often have muscle aches and pain, and your knees hurt frequently? Does even a slight weight on your chest hurts?
If you are facing any of these conditions, it’s time to get out and soak in some sunlight. For, these symptoms show that you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency.
Since most people stay indoors most of the time and also resort to use of sunscreens when they venture out, cases of Vitamin D deficiency are on the rise these days.
This seems funny since Vitamin D comes at no additional cost. You just have to expose your body to sunlight and your skin will generate the amount of Vitamin D that is needed by your body.
Out under the sun means in the open, under the sky, not sitting in cars or glass-paned windows in rooms as Vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in the skin) cannot penetrate glass. So one cannot generate vitamin D when sitting in car or home even if the sunlight is reaching his/her body.
Although milk fortified with Vitamin D, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, beef liver and egg yolk are good sources of Vitamin D, it is next to impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from the diet. Further, sunscreen lotions, even with SPF as low as 8, block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by an astounding 95%. So, you not only have to spend some time under the sun but also stop using sun screens.
While Vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, and your body makes it absolutely free, its deficiency can wreak havoc. The deficiency of Vitamin D causes Osteoporosis, Depression, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, schizophrenia and even makes your diabetes and obesity turn ugly.
So, once again, I reiterate, go out and enjoy as much sun you want. Remember, unlike other vitamins, there is no such thing as overdose of Vitamin D. Your body is self-regulating in this aspect, it only generate what it needs.