If there's one thing that the reality of living in a pandemic has taught us, it's the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Last year was a learning curve for all of us as we not only learned how to make momos and ace at Ludo, but also began to truly appreciate the importance of a healthy body and strong immunity.
Immunity became a household word being flung around every two seconds! And with that came a ton of googling and keeping up with how to improve and sustain one's immunity.
But one part of the immunity question that keeps getting overlooked is Vitamin D. Did you know that vitamin D is one of the important nutrients for building immunity? Me neither. That's why we've gone on to answer several important questions you might have about Vitamin D.
1. Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is generally associated with bone and muscle health. Its fundamental role in immune health is becoming increasingly recongnised, and emerging scientific evidence supports the important role of Vitamin D in the body's response to pathogens and in lowering the risk of acute respiratory tract infections. It also has a significant impact on our health beyond bone, as it’s involved in regulating several hundred genes, consequently making it vital for the heart, immunity, metabolic support, eye, and skin health.
2. What is the impact of Vitamin D on our bodies?
Vitamin D has several functions in our body, it helps build and maintain healthy bone development, bone mass density, our immune system, muscle health, and dental health! That's a lot.
3. Do I still need to take Vitamin D even if I'm usually healthy?
Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when our skin is exposed to sunlight and the level of synthesis is based on several factors ranging from the season, air pollution, to even age. Complementing a healthy lifestyle, a well-balanced diet along with a nutritional supplement containing Vitamin D helps the body’s vitamin D level effectively. This in return, helps to support and maintain healthy immune function which plays a vital role through different stages of our lives.
4. What can affect my Vitamin D levels?
Several factors affect Vitamin D levels — lower exposure to sunlight due to choice of clothing, sunscreen, season, skin colour, and a limited intake of Vitamin D rich foods all play a role.
5. How do I find out if I'm Vitamin D deficient?
The most common way to measure vitamin D levels in your body is through a blood test which includes measuring Calcifediol (25(OH)D) which is the most common form of Vitamin D in your blood.
6. What are the foods and natural sources that contain Vitamin D?
Vitamin D can be obtained from food sources like mushrooms, yeast, fish, and eggs in addition to enough exposure to sunlight.
To further bring light to this, DSM India’s CSR campaign #BoostYourImmuniD, highlights how 80% Indians are Vitamin D deficient! The campaign's aim is to raise awareness amongst 1.3 billion Indians to take care of their health. It is an initiative to start conversations as well as a change to to raise the awareness on importance of Vitamin D, so Indians can take action on their health deficiencies.
Check out the quirky video below that talks about how at the end of the day we all seem to be sailing in the same boat.