Discovered in 1920 by Sir Edward Mellanby, vitamin D was originally pegged as a cure for infamous rickets which is a childhood bone disease. Over the course of time, extensive research has been conducted on the said vitamin, and now, we know that it plays a pivotal role in keeping our bones strong by facilitating the absorption of calcium in our body, countering anxiety as well as depression and boosting our overall immunity.
In fact, a research team led by Northwestern University studied data from 10 countries and found a strong correlation between the low levels of vitamin D and a higher chance of death amongst coronavirus patients.
So, obviously, this is one of the most important vitamins whose levels need to be kept in check.
As some of us might already be aware, the natural source for vitamin D is sunlight exposure. But thanks to the lockdown imposed as a result of the COVID19 outbreak, our sunlight exposure has reduced to a range between nil to a minimum. Hence, the natural generation of this sunshine vitamin has been impacted adversely due to our limited exposure to the sun.
What could a low level of vitamin D mean for our health?
A deficiency of vitamin D in our bodies can make our bones weak and lead to bone deformities. In children, the deficiency can lead to rickets, and in adults, it can lead to osteomalacia which causes bone pain and tenderness.
It may also lead to depression. A study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry noted that people with a lower level of vitamin D were more susceptible to depression.
Apart from these diseases, a person who is suffering from a vitamin D deficiency will notice that they’re feeling lethargic, catching infections too frequently, losing hair, and experiencing muscle pain.
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Keeping vitamin D levels up
Considering that stepping out of our homes may not be a viable and available option currently due to the lockdown, besides the fact that not everyone amongst us may have access to verandas and terraces to bask in the sunlight, we need to resort to other means to obtain the much-needed dosage of vitamin D. A few means to keep the sunshine vitamin’s level up are:
Moreover, exercising often has a significant impact on vitamin D production in our bodies.
Our suggestion is that you make sure you spend some twenty to thirty minutes near a window, in your balcony or the terrace to make sure you can reap the benefits of some sunshine even in the middle of this lockdown.
So, you see, vitamin D is quite important and with just a little change to our lifestyle as well as eating habits, we can make sure that we’re not missing out on it even though the lockdown stops us from stepping into the sunlight for a long enough period of time.