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Jordanians found to suffer from vitamin D deficiency after year of quarantines

(Photo: Unsplash)
(Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is responsible for healthy bone maintenance and growth, among other things.اضافة اعلان

Vitamin D is found naturally in select foods and dietary supplements. What is truly unique about this vitamin, is that it is one of the few nutrients that the human body can produce on its own. Ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin, causing a chain reaction that ultimately results in the production of vitamin D.

In the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, Jordan was one of the first countries to take proactive and aggressive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This included multiple full lockdowns, confining citizens to their homes. As a result, many people spent less time outside.

Jordan News sat down with Dr Rami Salameh at his private clinic in the Abdali Hospital at the Abdali Boulevard. Dr Rami is a consultant in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism for the American Board of Endocrinology, as well as a specialist in internal medicine, certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. In our interview, he stated that he has personally seen an increase in vitamin D deficiency cases at his clinic and went on to say that it is logically expected to see an increase, as Jordanian citizens have reduced sun exposure due to the quarantine.

Fallout of Vitamin D Deficiency
According to the Cleveland Clinic, vitamin D deficiency is associated with various bone conditions including rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, osteoporosis, and fractures. There are also links to heart disease and high blood pressure, diabetes, infections and immune system disorders, certain types of cancer such as colon, prostate and breast cancers, and multiple sclerosis.

Furthermore, there have been recent studies linking COVID-19 infection rates and severity of symptoms to vitamin D deficiency. One such study titled, “Does Vitamin D Deficiency Increase the Severity of COVID-19?” outlines the potential mechanisms that link COVID-19 and vitamin D. Although no conclusive evidence has been provided yet, the studies do suggest that COVID-19 patients suspected of having vitamin D deficiency must be observed closely.

Sources of Vitamin D

Safe Sunlight Exposure

Vitamin D is one of the few nutrients that the body can produce on its own. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding sun exposure for the purposes of boosting vitamin D levels. For starters, the particular ray of sun needed to produce vitamin D cannot penetrate glass, which means that even if you sit by a window at home or at work, your body will not be producing vitamin D.

The National Institutes of Health recommends approximately 5-30 minutes of sun exposure between 10am and 4pm, minimally twice a week, without sunscreen. The amount of sun exposure varies between individuals and is heavily dependent on skin color, where fairer complexion requires less time and darker complexion requires more.

Balanced Diet

Certain foods that can be integrated into our diet, contain sources of vitamin D. According to the National Health Service in the UK, sources include:

Oily Fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel)

Red Meats

Liver

Egg Yolk

Fortified Foods (e.g., Certain breakfast cereals and milks)

Supplements

Some people, especially the elderly, have difficulty getting vitamin D from either source, in which case, supplements are a viable solution. In the UK, 400IU of vitamin D is recommended daily for the general population and 600IU is recommended in the US.

Exceeding the upper limit of daily vitamin D can lead to complications. For this reason, it is strongly advised that you speak with your doctor or pharmacist before starting a supplements regimen.

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