Nothing is more important to us on Earth than the Sun. Without the Sun’s heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth. It’s hard to undermine the importance of sunlight.
Like that our body is also meant to be in the sun, and exposure to sunlight during the day is crucial to our wellbeing. It is advised to get at least 10-15 minutes of sunlight daily.
In this blog we will cover a wide array of questions like
- The importance of sunlight,
- Benefits of Vitamin -D
- Why its Vitamin -D deficiency is so rampant in India
Importance of Sunlight
When natural sunlight hits the skin it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also known as “the sunshine vitamin”.
It is a crucial ingredient for overall health; protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function and may even protect against cancer.
Low levels of vitamin D can cause heart disease, prostate cancer and dementia. With its contrast to India
Why is vitamin D deficiency rampant in India
Vitamin D deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent among the general population. In India, widely consumed food items such as dairy products are rarely fortified with vitamin D.
Indian socio-religious and cultural practices do not facilitate adequate sun exposure, thereby negating potential benefits of plentiful sunshine. Therefore, subclinical vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in both urban and rural areas.
In India, Vitamin D deficiency is likely to play an important role in the very high prevalence of rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and infections such as tuberculosis.
Darker skin has high melanin content which acts as a natural sunscreen. Therefore, darker skin produces a significantly lesser amount of vitamin D when compared with the individuals with fairer skin, such as Caucasians.
Thus, for Indian skin tone, minimum “direct sun exposure” daily requirement is more than 45 minutes to bare face, arms and legs. Atmospheric pollution of metropolitan India also factors in with respect to vitamin D levels.
More factors contributing to Vitamin-D Deficiency in India
The extreme discomfort of the scorching heat associated with most sunny days of Indian summer and the undying desire of most Indians to attain a fairer skin complexion instantly extinguish any desire for sun exposure, and a person’s primary focus is on finding ways to avoid the sun, at all costs.
In the blazing heat of India these two concerns score very high and the quest for vitamin D sufficiency always takes a backseat.
Therefore, in the Indian scenario, vitamin D sufficiency cannot be attained by depending on adequate sunlight exposure.
In summary, Sun exposure is by far the best way to boost vitamin D levels, particularly because very few foods contain significant amounts.
Benefits of Vitamin -D
1) Healthy Bones – Vitamin D plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These factors are vital for maintaining healthy bones. People need vitamin D to allow the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete. Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, which leads to a severely bow legged appearance due to the softening of the bones. Similarly, in adults, vitamin D deficiency manifests as osteomalacia, or softening of the bones. Osteomalacia results in poor bone density and muscular weakness.
2) Reduce Depression – Some research has shown that vitamin D can play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms. In another study of people with fibromyalgia, a condition which causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness, researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.
3) Better sleep – Vitamin D deficiency can affect your sleep. Morning sunlight exposure is linked to better sleep and health. Getting less morning light could make it more difficult for you to fall asleep and wake up at your preferred times. Sunlight directly affects the brains pineal gland. It’s the gland that produces melatonin; a powerful antioxidant that is important for sleep quality and helps prevent depression. So get outside so you can get a good night’s sleep; it’s important for proper brain function.
4) Boost Immune system – Vitamin D helps our immune systems stay balanced during the cold and flu season. There are Vitamin D receptors and activating enzymes on the surfaces of all white blood cells. The role that vitamin D plays in keeping the immune system healthy is very complex because the immune system has to be perfectly balanced. If there is too much stimulation, autoimmune diseases can set in. If there is not enough immune system activity, frequent infections can occur. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to low levels of vitamin D, associated with worsening autoimmune diseases. Low levels of vitamin D are not the underlying cause of the autoimmune disease, but low levels of vitamin D can make autoimmune disease states worse.
Thank you for visiting our blog
Keep supporting us by
Subscribing to our YouTube channel – Target 100 Years
Like and comments on our Facebook Page – Target 100 years
Also, check out our new blog on longevity – Philosophy of health