The Silent Epidemic along With Covid 19 – Beware Of Vitamin D Deficiency!

3 min read

Hey dude! You may be your own king and queen at home enjoying your lockdown watching Netflix series in bed and waiting for the next meal.

But do you realise that, you are not getting enough sunlight? Are you thinking “Why should I worry about it when my skin is not getting tanned by the hot angry sun!” No, don’t get fooled buddy!

Do you know that exposure to sunlight is needed very urgently for our body? Vitamin D (Sunshine Vitamin)! Vitamin D can be synthesized in sufficient amounts by most vertebrates on adequate exposure of the skin to the sunlight (UVB rays).

The vitamin is needed for the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood  which is required for the normal mineralization of the bone, muscle contraction, nerve conduction and general cellular functions in all cells of the body.

Some interesting things I come across according to NCBI , as early as in 19 th century, cod liver oil ( a rich source of vitamin D) was used for treating tuberculosis. In 1903, Finsen received a Nobel prize for demonstrating that lupus vulgaris, the epidermal form of TB can be cured by using light from a electric arc lamp.

But do you know that India is meeting up with huge vitamin D deficiency crisis?

The national centre for biotechnology information have mentioned that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency ranged from 40-99%, with most of the studies reporting a preference of 80-90%.

It was prevelant in all age groups and high risk groups. Our Indian diet mostly fails to satisfy the daily requirement of vitamin D for a normal adult. This is also due to reduced sunlight exposure and increased melanin in the skin.


1. What Vitamin D Deficiency Will Lead To?

Vitamin D deficiency can result in weaker bones and increase the chances of fracture. Reason evidence also suggest that vitamin D deficiency is linked to all diseases including infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, dyslipidemia and cancers.

Told Dr.Y Sumana , consultant, dept of wellness, Global Hospitals, Bangalore.

2. Is There Anything To Do With Coronovirus?

Taking vitamin D in your diet or through supplements will not cure coronovirus, but it will boosts up the immunity in your body and prevents infections including coronovirus.

A research study done by Dr. Mark Alipio, a medical scientist in philippines have found that people with vitamin D deficieny are developing more serious Covid 19 symptoms.

According to researchers, Vitamin D supplements play a role in the resistance of respiratory illness such as covid-19.

A research study recently published in the Irish Medical Journal also recommended that adults should take 20-50 micrograms of vitamin D and including this vitamin thorough diet or supplements will reduce the severity of illness.

3. How To Include Vitamin D In Diet?

1. Standard Coldpressed Oils

It’s always important to consider the type of oil you cook your food with even it’s in a low amount.

In this coldpressing method, oil seeds are dried, grinded and squeezed in a low temperature where it’s doesn’t lose its vitamins and minerals unlike other refined oils. Marachekku Ennai is a loaded source of Vitamin D.

2.Cow’s Milk

It is an excellent of vitamins and minerals and a low glycemic index food. Drinking a glass of full cream milk twice a day can improve the vitamin D levels in your body.

3. Eggs

They are most probably the easiest kind of meat we could find during this  lockdown. Including eggs in your diet (especially egg yolks ) can improve your vitamin D levels in your body with effective results.

But it is also good to consider that conventionally raised chickens that don’t have access to outdoors produce eggs harbouring 2-5% of reference daily intake.

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the only completely plant- based source of sunshine Vitamin!

You can add it to soups,salads and Briyani.  Mushrooms produce vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol which is effective for your body.

5. Yogurt

Curd is the summer thing we can’t stay without. Yogurt to say good probiotic for those for not suffering from any daily allergies.

It is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D so including yoghurt in your diet though rice, butter milk, salads or even chill lassi will make your day fulfilled and increase your vitamin D as well.

6. Fatty Fish

Fatty fishes are the richest Natural sources of Vitamin D. A 100 gram serving of salmon fish can provide upto 386 IU of vitamin D about 50% of RDI.
Other common options are mackeral (kanangkeluthi in tamil) , eel ,trout, and tuna.

4. Other Tips To Increase Vitamin D?

Mumbai based Tanvi Dalal, founder of wellnest nutrition suggests that  it’s best to spend between 30 minutes or an hour on the balcony or terrace between 11 am and 2 pm. The big key is not wear any sunscreens.

“Children younger than 5 years old, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with dark skin and those who are obese and at higher risk groups like diabetes, hypertension , heart diseases and aged people should definitely get supplements” she added.

5. Taking Vitamin D Supplements

Dr. Rehu Mahtani MD tolds that vitamin D supplements are no longer optional but a cellular necessity.

Initially, recommendations were based on bone deficiencies like rickets but later it was realized that they are too less for general health.

40 ng/ml is the minimum desired level. To achieve this, the recommended dosage is atleast 9000 units per day as mentioned in Journal Of Preventive Medicine.

Its great to know that our ancestors who were basically farmers and their blood level was used to be 80 ng/ml and they are much more healthier than what we are today!

Note: Don’t remember to take a blood test and consulting with a doctor before taking it as overdosage may lead to toxicity.


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Elakeya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.
Elakeya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.

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