Are you a member of the “D” Club?

vitamin d1

Well, I’ve been busy over the last two weeks. Busy doing a lot of research on Vitamin D.

Why you may ask with a slight crease of your brows. After all, what’s there to know about Vitamin D? It’s available. It’s in plenty. Most important it’s free. You just need to get out in the sun a little and you should be fine, right?

 

 

vitamin d6

I agree to all of the above. The only bone of contention here is that you’re probably not aware that  Vitamin D deficiency has a direct link to cancer and even laborers whose job requires them to be outdoors suffer from the deficiency. Shocked? Don’t be. It’s alarming and it’s true. Muscle pain, aching bones, heavy legs and cells that scream out aren’t normal. While there could be a number of reasons for it, it’s important to get tested for Vitamin D.

vitamin-d-chart3

Vitamin D “Insufficient”  Range : 30 -150 . Level 10 : The Doctor scribbled “Vitamin D capsules 5 days a week”.

Ironic ! Reminded me of the line from the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Water, water everywhere. Nor any drop to drink.

Samuel Taylor

And almost instantly the poet in me penned the below poem (if you wish to skip the poem, please do but do not skip the post):

vitamin d5

 

Sun, sun, everywhere,

“To venture out I did not dare”,

 UV rays, “The Enemy “, to fear!

The sun-screen, a protective gear.

 

The heat too hot to bear,

“Sun-burns, tans, freckles. Beware!”

9 months of the year,

“Cover, cover, cover and don’t let it near”.

 

Now at the doc, I stare,

“A deficiency!”, he says, “You must be aware”

“The reports read clear”.

Of all the things, “It’s Vit. D”? “Oh dear!”

After the creative outburst, I was back in the present.

When the doctor had not asked me to ensure I did get some sunshine , the skeptical banker in me questioned, “So is it beyond the sun’s help now Doctor?”.

vitamin-d-s11-daily-limits-chart

Like The alchemist from Paulo Coelho’s book, the doctor let me in on the secret, “Being in the sun isn’t enough. There are conditions”.

1.Be in the sun anytime from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in countries like the Middle East.  In other countries the timing is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Minimum 20 minutes of exposure to the sun. Double the time for brown skin people. No I’m not being racist here. It’s because the melanin which makes skin brown and protects us from skin damage but also allows lesser UVB to enter the skin which means dark skin takes a longer time to produce Vitamin D. 
3.At-least 60% of the body should be exposed to the sun. If your back is exposed to the sun, it’s better than just the arms and legs. The more the pollution, the lesser the vitamin D production, higher up you go on the mountains more vitamin D is produced as compared to being on the beach, staying behind glass windows or applying sunscreen reduces Vitamin D production.

Dr. Wright recommends spending “some time outside in the sunshine with your arms and face exposed (and sunscreen-free),” until your skin just starts to turn pink.

Read more on Super-nutrient Vitamin D

The good news was, finally I had a name for my aches and pains. It wasn’t just a fragment of my imagination. It existed. It wasn’t just because of the heels I wore 🙂

It’s not all in the mind and yet it is

The next morning I woke up with a heightened awareness of the pain. After all, I had a real problem and the mind said ” Poor you!”.

Poor me” did not go for a jog that day because a walk had been recommended by the doctor. “Poor me” went to office feeling sorry. “Poor Me!”

Until, one of my colleagues said “Relax. 85% of the residents in the U.A.E have a deficiency!” “75% in the United States”…

“Oh!” It wasn’t exotic! I was supposed to feel better knowing that I was not one in a million who had got it but one of the many millions who had it. I had just become a member of the 1 billion member club!

I was determined to fix that which was making me exhausted and I set out with a vengeance.

Another week of research. Love Dr. Google

My research indicated 90% of the people in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, Central and South America suffer from this deficiency; places which boast of ample sunshine and which are planning on harnessing solar energy as a major resource.

Global map vitamin D

Surprised why not people in Europe, Scandinavian countries?

People here ensure they have food rich in Vitamin D such as salmons, mushrooms, tofu or fortified food (food to which nutrients have been added after being processed as food generally loses its nutrients when processed) or supplements because these countries do not get adequate sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health problem worldwide in all age groups, even in those residing in countries with low latitude, where it was generally assumed that UV radiation was adequate enough to prevent this deficiency, and in industrialized countries, where vitamin D fortification has been implemented now for years.

In general, this high prevalence of low vitamin D status may be related to several issues, such as less vitamin D photosynthesis in response to UVB in individuals with high skin melanin content or due to aging, use of extensive skin coverage and scarce exposure to sunlight, which has often been described in individuals from Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America. Moreover, a low vitamin D intake and high rates of obesity worldwide can also contribute to the problem. Season appears to be a small component to the problem worldwide, as countries with long winters have less deficiency rates overall compared to sunny countries, which is probably related to the fortification of staples, consumption of fatty fish and regular use of vitamin D supplements.

      Published online 2013 Nov 12             National Institute of Health

 Bask in the sun. Thankfully it’s FREE and it’s not scarce!

Know your body. Spread the message. Save the world! 

Do some research of your own and don’t forget to share it in the comments section so we can all benefit from it.

Copyright©, 2017, lifeateacher.wordpress.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

18 comments

  1. You have managed to tell us your story along with giving us the added bonus of your research work. Your post gives me more reason to bask in the sunshine longer than I assumed. Yes, it is a big big problem. A cousin realized that he had an acute deficiency after he broke a bone while he tried his hand at skipping, that was how brittle his bones had become. Loved that piece of creativity in the form of a poem too, it was so beautiful. Thank you spreading the awareness and do take care, Smitha.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lord! It is a bigger problem than we think, then. I guess somewhere I must have had an intuition so don’t really do things adventurous😀. ” sun sun everywhere” was the first thing that came to my mind. It’s nice to know you enjoyed it. I will take care Pranitha. Thanks. You tc too. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had heard about this issue Smitha, and your comment above about sunscreen being part of the issue. I don’t like the heat so I don’t seek out the sun, but hopefully I benefit from those foods that make Europeans less likely to be deficient!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s strange that though Vitamin D is so important, it’s not got the publicity it deserves. I was aware of the issue but had no idea that a deficiency could result in cancer and strangely all the people I spoke to were equally unaware. That’s when I thought I needed to share this information with whoever I could. Yes, Europeans and Scandinavians apparently don’t suffer from this deficiency, could be something to do with lifestyle and food. It’s always good to get oneself checked Andrea just to be sure.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Your post made me smile. I have been deficient for so many years and then I got to know that almost everyone around me was vitamin D deficient ‘coz we really don’t allow sun to touchdown skin 😉 Don’t worry, start supplement in addition to sun exposure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment made me smile :). Cheers to finding one more thing in common between us. Thanks Vandana for the support.How long did it take you to get back on track and what were your levels if I may ask. Any special food?

      Like

      1. Supplement needs to be taken regularly. I had around 13…I guess 😦
        It took a long time and even now I have pain in calves quite regularly which pushes me to have the tablet after 10-15 days. Also, you need to keep a tab on calcium levels for its retention. Hope that helps 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robbie. Here too…too much sun makes us cover ourselves all the time and use sunscreen. Apparently that’s the problem. Thanks Robbie for sharing it on twitter. Its so important that more people are aware.

      Liked by 1 person

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