Written by Saanchi Biyani, a grade 4 student.
Scientists and doctors, across the world, are working day and night to create a vaccine that cures COVID19. But, do you know, we already have a solution that can help you, to a certain extent, in preventing COVID19?. Read ahead to find out more
Do you know how much vitamin D is required by our body? The recommended daily amount of Vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) (10 mcg) for children up to the age of 12 months, 600 IU (15 mcg) for ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU (20 mcg) for people over 70 years. However, around 70-90 percent of the Indians are Vitamin D deficient, as per a study released by Dr. P.G.Talwalkar of Shushrusha Hospital in Mumbai. Isn’t that strange? To me, it is, but then, lets first understand more about it.
What is Vitamin D and why is it important? Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps in making our bones strong and healthy. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, critical for building bones. It is important in other ways too helps our muscles to move, nerves to pass messages to the brain and other body parts to function, it aids cell growth, and also strengthens our immune system so it can fight bacteria and viruses. You may ask that if it so important, is it easily available to meet our requirements?ts Or, is there a supply issue?, Why is 90 percent of the population deficient?. Let’s understand its sources.
The most important and easily available source for Vitamin D is the Sun. Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D, which is why Vitamin D is also referred to as Sunshine Vitamin. Apart from this, Vitamin D is naturally present in fewer foods and can be made available as a diet supplement. For vegetarian people, it includes, dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals, cheese, else, it also includes, fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon), beef liver, egg yolk, among others. There appear to be many options for intake, especially, the free and most easily available source, the Sun.
Knowing what is Vitamin D, its importance, and the sources, I was wondering, can Vitamin D help us in preventing Coronavirus? Well, to a certain extent, it can. How? Let me explain. Cytokine storm which occurs as a result of infection destroys our immune system. Various studies have indicated that in most of the patients suffering from COVID-19, their blood was teeming with high levels of proteins called cytokines. It is vitamin D that help us in enhancing the function of the immune system that helps in fighting with cytokine storms – and, thus, helps, in preventing COVID19. So, friends, let’s go out, and soak in the Sun for 10-30 minutes every day. Let’s eat food or take supplements to sustain Vitamin D in our body.
By the way, did you not find it strange, that, despite an abundant supply of vitamin D from the Sun, 7-90 percent of Indians are still deficient. Think about it, but more than think, take action.