While staying indoors may have kept COVID-19 at bay, it has led to a hike in cases of Vitamin D (sunshine vitamin) deficiency in Mumbai. City doctors believe that there has been a 15 per cent to 20 per cent rise in such cases, especially amongst youngsters with symptoms like osteoporosis and hair loss. Moreover, researchers said individuals with a lesser amount of Vitamin D are more susceptible to the virus.
Deficiency of Vitamin D, also called the sunshine vitamin, is linked to bone and back pain, impaired wound healing, bone loss, hair loss, and can impact the immune system causing individuals to be prone to infections. It leads to growing cases of osteoporosis and hair loss amongst the younger population. Reports also suggest that athletes have also developed Vitamin D deficiency after staying during the lockdown, which has become a hurdle in redeveloping muscle strength.
Dr Nadir Shah, associate professor of the orthopaedic department at JJ Hospital, said that the nationwide lockdown led to the closure of schools and restrictions on outdoor activities and caused Vitamin D deficiency amongst children. “Daily, we see children visiting the OPD. Their bones have softened due to Vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, we are getting 2 to 3 cases of bone fractures among children,” he said.
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that more than 80 per cent of the COVID-19 patients hospitalised at Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla in Spain had Vitamin D deficiency.
As per city doctors, this fat-soluble vitamin regulates the immune response by preventing the excessive release of cytokines, which is an extreme immune response that can destroy body cells. This is extremely effective among COVID-19 patients.
“It is believed that Vitamin D does help in making our immunity stronger to fight against the virus. So, we do recommend the daily dosage of the vitamin to people. There is a misconception amongst people that early morning jogging helps in the absorption of Vitamin D. People should spend at least 20 minutes under the sun between 11 am to 2 pm,” said Dr Girish Parmer, consultant endocrinology and metabolic physician, Endocrinologist at Nanavati Hospital.
Sunlight is one of the major sources of vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for the body. Vitamin D is a type of mineral that helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Human’s skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun.
Tiredness or lethargy
Joint and back pain