Is soaking in the sun enough?

The gloomy atmosphere might now be the reason for your gloomy health. Sunlight, which is essentially the chief source of Vitamin D, is not effectively absorbed by the skin nowadays – blame it on the pollution which is increasing by leaps and bounds. An adequate amount of the Sunshine Vitamin, which is obtained principally from the sun, is not reaching the masses today, in spite of the ample exposure to the sun.  Even in the land of abundant sunshine, people are suffering from the Vitamin D deficiency.

According to Dr. H. Chandalia, the chief reason for this is the increase in the number of pollutants across the region. These pollutants are responsible for screening the UV rays that come in contact with the skin. Agreeing to this fact, Dr. Shashank Joshi who is one of the leading endocrinologists at Leelavati Hospital further added that apart from the pollutants, melanin also acted as a blocking agent against Vitamin D.

In research studies by F. Hosseinpanah and his team at NCBI where they studied intensively about the effects of air pollution on Vitamin D status in healthy women, they stated that insufficient absorption of UVB due to air pollution is one of the major causes leading to Vitamin D deficiency in women. Their study included 200 women aged between 20-55 years from highly polluted as well as less polluted areas and their Vitamin D absorption capabilities were compared. The ground level of UVB was measured using a Haze meter as a surrogate of air pollution. With statistical analysis, it was found that residing in the polluted area plays a critical role in Vitamin D deficiency.


In another observation by Alyssa Abkowitz, whose findings were published in the wall street journal, China, she stated that in certain parts of China which were deprived of sufficient amount of sunlight, only 5% of the population had adequate levels of vitamin D.

Air pollution is a chief factor determining the extent of solar UVB that reaches earth surface and several epidemiological data, which represents different populations living in different geographic latitudes, indicate that atmospheric pollution (especially high tropospheric ozone content) may play a significant independent role in the development of vitamin D deficiency.

In Beijing, lack of sunshine from the pollution and the issues in the quality of air has led to Vitamin D deficiency in many. Polluted air blocks sunshine to some degree, causing fewer rays to reach the ground. This means that even when people go outside to soak in the sun, they may not be receiving maximum amounts of Vitamin D. In such situations, intake of Vitamin D becomes mandatory. Many have been prescribed dose of daily Vitamin D supplements.




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