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Vitamin D And Lockdown - Know The Facts
  • Arati Shah

  • 17, Apr. 2020

Vitamin D And Lockdown - Know The Facts

Vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise in the recent years. This vitamin has come into focus during the current lockdown. This is because the sun has an important role to play in maintaining optimum levels of this vitamin in our body. And, this is a vitamin that has multiple roles to play in our body. Sportspersons need to keep a watch on their Vitamin D levels as a deficiency can not only have an impact on their health but also their training and performance. A sports nutritionist can guide the athlete on the required dose.  

So, how does the sunshine become important when we are talking of Vitamin D? Now, when you are exposed to sunlight, especially between 11am and 2pm the ultra violet rays of the sunlight help convert a chemical under your skin into vitamin D. Hence, with the current lockdown, one needs to be alert about a Vitamin D deficiency since we are indoors. This becomes especially important for the elderly as they are not supposed to be leaving their homes at all during this period.  

Why is Vitamin D important? 

Vitamin D is an important nutrient in maintaining bone health since it helps in absorbing calcium. It also has many roles to play in our body including good mental health and there is some research that shows that it can also help keep your immune system healthy. So, people having access to balconies and terraces should spend a little time there between 11am to 2pm for around 15-20 minutes. Now, the elderly need to be a little careful here as it can cause a heat stroke in the scorching heat.  

Are there foods rich in Vitamin D? 

The surprising fact is that we can’t get much of Vitamin D through our diet.Foods like canned tuna, salmon, mackerel, mushrooms for the vegetarians and egg yolks (so it does not help if you omit the yolks and eat just the whites) are some sources of vitamin D. Alternatively one can get vitamin D also from fortified foods like milk, soy milk and breakfast cereals. Cod liver oil is also a good source of vitamin D.  

Since it's difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, a supplement becomes essential. This can be tricky as the right dose is necessary. A health care practitioner can guide you about the right dose of Vitamin D you would need. So, after the lockdown see a physician or a clinical nutritionist and get the right dose for yourself. Do not take doses of this vitamin on your own as mega doses can cause toxicity in the body. And, if you are wanting to incorporate the above mentioned foods in your diet, again an Indian nutritionist can help you plan the intake with the foods and a supplement if need be.