COVID-19: Solar Power Your Immune System
Vitamin D is important for almost every aspect of your health
Do you know that sunlight falling on your skin sets off a complex chain reaction that converts a sterol called 7-dehydrocholesterol found in your epidermis into Vitamin D3? All it takes is 30 minutes in the soft morning sun, with bare hands, feet, arms, legs, and face, to create your own Vitamin D.
What’s Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two forms: Vitamin D-2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol).
While both Vitamin D2 and D3 help the body in the same way, they are produced differently. Vitamin D-3 is generally found in animals including humans and is produced when ultraviolet (UV) light falls on your skin. Vitamin D2 is found in plants and fungi such as mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light. Studies have found that Vitamin D3 is best for your body.
Why do you need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is important for almost every aspect of your health: to promote calcium absorption in the bones, inhibit cancer, stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, and help regulate blood pressure. In short, Vitamin D improves all body systems.
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
Did you know that you can get almost 90 percent of your bodily requirement of Vitamin D from sunlight?
Other sources include oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and cod-liver oil; dairy products like butter and egg yolk; liver and other organ meat. Vegan sources include fortified soy milk, mushrooms, and fortified cereals. Vitamin D fortified products including supplements are available in all pharmacies.
Who’s at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency can strike at any age. You are at risk if you:
wear clothing covering most of the body;
live in places of seasonal variation (for instance, winters);
have poor dietary habits;
stay out of the sun;
use a lot of sunscreen;
are above 65, when the skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D begins to wane.
30 minutes of sunshine on your skin will go a long way in keeping you healthy.
What happens if you take too much Vitamin D?
Overdoses of Vitamin D can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood, nausea, constipation, frequent urination, arrhythmia, and kidney stones. Studies have found that while it is almost impossible to overdose on Vitamin D from sunlight or food, the overuse of supplements can lead to toxicity.
To make sure your body gets adequate Vitamin D supplies, make sure you eat the right food and spend some time in the sun. If you are aged above 60, consult your doctor on the dosage of Vitamin D supplements you require.
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