All about vitamin D

Recently I found out one my friend’s mother is suffering from vitamin D deficiency which is causing her a lot of bone & joints pain. She’s going through regular physiotherapy, but that can help only up to a point. This got me thinking that being a working professional in a 9 to 5 job, living in Bangalore, where clouds never let the sun come out.. I must be at a high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency myself. Well, turns out it’s not that difficult to get the needed dosage. Little bit of morning sun & after noon sun (15-20mins walk outside) on weekdays and 2-3 hours of full blown noon sun on weekends. Can’t help the rains & the clouds, but can try to make this a habit. Anyway, here are some vitamin D facts that should be enough information for anyone concerned.

  • Sunlight is the major source. Depending on skin tone, area of skin exposed  & the intensity of sun, anywhere between 5-30mins in the sun maybe be needed.
  • Sunscreens can limit the absorption by up to 98%.
  • Getting the sun through glass windows doesn’t add any vitamin D as UV rays are blocked by most glasses.
  • If you live in an area where sun is scarce or if your schedule doesn’t permit going out in the sun regularly, then supplement. UV lamps can also be used for artificial intake of vitamin D.
  • We can never have excess of vitamin D by being in the sun for too long, as our body naturally saturates the process.
  • Some mushrooms & fishes are also natural sources of vitamin D, though this vitamin is not stable in traditional cooking temperatures and up to 50% vitamin D can be lost due to cooking.
  • Vitamin D is required to maintain calcium & phosphate levels which is needed for maintaining bone health.
  • You don’t need to tan or to burn your skin in order to get the vitamin D you need. Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day.
  • You make the most vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, such as your back, rather than a small area such as your face or arms.
  • If you’re dark skinned, you need more sun exposure to make vitamin D than if you’re fair skinned.

Vitamin D is really cheap, you just need to be out in the sun for a short while on a daily basis. No one should have to suffer from it’s deficiency. Take care!

Source: Wikipedia, vitamindcouncil.org

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