Present day lifestyle, characterised by unearthly working hours and less outdoor activity, has created a large population of patients with inherent Vitamin D deficiency, doctors maintain. According to them, 75 to 80 per cent of the body’s Vitamin D supply is met when the skin is exposed to sunlight, which seldom happens in cities.
The phenomenon has made doctors focus on the role of Vitamin D in the overall health of people.
While research on the impact of Vitamin D on ailments is on, doctors believe it is clearly associated with diabetes, blood pressure, weakness of bones, nerve-related disorders and obesity.
“Till a few years ago, this was never a problem, and nobody expected it. These days, however, right from childhood, there is less exposure to sunlight. There are numerous research papers associating Vitamin D with ailments. We usually associate Vitamin D with weakness of bones, nerves and even paralysis,” says senior general practitioner and former Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Dr. B. Balraju.
Doctors also point out that Vitamin D has a direct benefit for patients with cardiovascular ailments.
“There is no denying the fact that Vitamin D directly benefits cardiovascular and diabetic patients. There are enough studies that have proven the link of Vitamin D with diabetes and heart ailments,” says Dr. P.V. Rao, Head of Endocrinology, Nims.
The ideal daily need of Vitamin D for human body is between 1,000 and 2,000 IU (International Units) per day.
“There are diagnostic tests to determine Vitamin D levels in the body. The tests, however, are expensive. Vitamin D helps body retain calcium. It is directly linked to knee pains and osteoporosis. However, it should be consumed under strict medical advice,” says senior diabetologist Dr. P. Ushabala.
Maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin D is critical, doctors point out.
“Sufficient vitamin D levels assist the body to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, besides helping in the essential repair and maintenance activities in the body,” says Dr. P. Sudarshan Reddy, senior pediatrician and member of Indian Academy of Paediatrics.