Sun & vitamin D

Sow a seed and see it grow, look at sun and see the glow…

Ever thought how plants use solar energy to grow, to become tall and strong. Place the plants indoor, they’ll die. The phenomenon that helps plants grow strong and healthy is applied to human bones too. Yes, we are talking about the sun and its innate connection with us, precisely vitamin D & our bones. Vitamin D is an important vitamin which is present in food e.g. fish, milk, green leafy vegetables, etc. Also body has its own mechanism to manufacture vitamin D from cholesterol in the presence of sun. This vitamin D is found in skin is in inactive form (cholecalciferol, D3), undergoes hydroxylation process in liver and kidney. Thus, active vitamin D reaches gut and enhances absorption of calcium. Though, the food we eat is broken into small particles in mouth, stomach etc., the nutrients are absorbed in small intestine. Even if the food is a high resource of calcium, it will be only absorbed if vitamin D is present in sufficient quantities. This absorbed calcium, enters the blood circulation & is, finally, taken up by bones.

Role of calcium & vitamin D in bone health

The calcium provides strength and endurance to bones to bear stresses of daily life and is of high impact too. Lack of strength in bones predisposes them to fracture even with trivial trauma.

The story doesn’t end here. Once fractured, the bones again need calcium for union (repair &healing). The lack of either vitamin D or calcium predisposes the bones to undergo non-union (doesn’t unite) or delayed union (takes more than usual time), thereby, enhancing the duration of morbidity.

Thus vitamin D has important role play in giving strength to bones. Irrespective of high calcium intake, the bones will remain weak if calcium isn’t absorbed properly. Thus only enough vitamin D can help you attain strong and healthy bones. Healthy bones are like strong base on which the whole building stands upright, tall&strong.

Preserving the Vitamin D levels

  • With increasing age, the ability of gut to absorb nutrients reduces. Keep a regular check on nutrient levels.
  • Eat healthy & nutritious food and give your body good sun exposure for at least 20 minutes daily especially after 50 years of age.
  • Exercise regularly to keep your bones and muscles healthy for at least 20 minutes daily. Work out may vary from walk, gym, Pilates, yoga, aerobics, etc.
  • Vitamin supplements are available in form of injections, chewable tablets, sachets, etc. Do consult your physician, if diagnosed with the deficiency.

Take good care of your body as that is the only place to live in.