International Women`s Health Day: Make friends with the Sun

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Sunlight is reportedly missing from the lives of many young women which is making them Vitamin D deficient and it has lately emerged as a major health issue for them.

Vitamin D is a major regulator of calcium metabolism, hence an important determinant of bone health. Its deficiency in young girls can precipitate osteoporosis and increase the risk of fractures by manifold.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone architecture leading to increased bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures.

An estimate suggests that 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men would be osteoporotic by 2015.

"There is a good evidence that sufficient levels of Vitamin D (>30ng/ml) are associated with lower risk of serious pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia, decreased chances of caesarean section and reduced incidence of breast cancer," says Raju Easwaran, senior consultant, orthopaedics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh told IANS.

Other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis are also lower in women with normal vitamin D levels.

“Despite abundant sunshine, Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in India. A judicious exposure of arms and legs or hands to sunlight, simply for not more than 5-15 minutes per day, for 2-3 times per week during spring and summer is all that is required to satisfy the body's requirements of Vitamin D," said Palash Gupta senior consultant, Orthopaedics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh was quoted as saying to IANS.

It is seen that women working in night shifts are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency. It is recommended that one takes at least 15 minutes out to be in the sun at early morning hours before hitting the sack, as the morning sun rays between 5-7 am is considered more beneficial than the scorching sun of afternoons.

With Agency Inputs