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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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Vitamin D deficiencies: The fading sunshine in lockdown eclipse


 Department of Community Medicine, Dr D Y Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission28-Dec-2021
Date of Decision12-Jan-2021
Date of Acceptance04-Feb-2022

Correspondence Address:
Chaitali Borgaonkar,
A1- 502, Swarganga Society, Vallabh Nagar, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_1032_21



How to cite this URL:
Ghonge S, Srivastava K, Borgaonkar C. Vitamin D deficiencies: The fading sunshine in lockdown eclipse. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=350680



Dear Sir,

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has snatched from many, their lives apart from livelihoods, mental health, and the much needed sunshine vitamin, later mostly as a result of the unending panic and lockdowns. The cycle seems to be vicious as, the more the lockdown, the more will be the decrease in levels of serum Vitamin D due to restricted outdoor activity. Vitamin D is primarily produced in the skin after exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and <10% is derived from dietary sources.[1]

The effects due to Vitamin D deficiency are already seen in the children in the form of soft bone cases.[2] With continued closure of schools for such long duration, we are in the process of creating a generation which may be more prone to infections as a result of such deficiencies and questionable exposure to outside world, much needed for immunological memory to work efficiently.

Human studies have shown that poor Vitamin D status prenatally is associated with adverse neuropsychiatric outcomes including schizophrenia and child autism.[3],[4] Two recent longitudinal studies showed a link between maternal Vitamin D status in early pregnancy and delayed neurocognitive development including language impairment, mental development, and psychomotor development in early childhood.[5],[6] Adding to this is the lack of exercises and increased screen time for children which is leading to tremendous gain in weight during lockdown.[7] We already have data to support correlation of high mortality in COVID-19 with obesity.[8] The role of Vitamin D in obesity itself is also under study.[9]

The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency is 50%–90% in the Indian subcontinent.[10] With the unending new viral entrants and variants, the fear of outdoor activities and exposure may further increase, leading to aggravation of Vitamin D deficiency further and also poor outcome for even a simple general viral infection.

Lesson learned from this situation is to emphasize the importance of daily sunlight exposure and outdoor physical activities among all age groups and weighing the risk–benefit aspects of the lockdown. Parents of school-going children must be emphasized, the importance of the sunshine vitamin so that they send kids to schools without out of proportion fear, which may actually be counterproductive on their kids' overall health.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Norris JM. Can the sunshine vitamin shed light on type 1 diabetes? Lancet 2001;358:1476-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
3.
McGrath J, Eyles D, Mowry B, Yolken R, Buka S. Low maternal vitamin D as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A pilot study using banked sera. Schizophr Res 2003;63:73-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Whitehouse AJ, Holt BJ, Serralha M, Holt PG, Hart PH, Kusel MM. Maternal vitamin D levels and the autism phenotype among offspring. J Autism Dev Disord 2013;43:1495-504.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Whitehouse AJ, Holt BJ, Serralha M, Holt PG, Kusel MM, Hart PH. Maternal serum vitamin D levels during pregnancy and offspring neurocognitive development. Pediatrics 2012;129:485-93.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Morales E, Guxens M, Llop S, Rodríguez-Bernal CL, Tardón A, Riaño I, et al. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in pregnancy and infant neuropsychological development. Pediatrics 2012;130:e913-20.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Surekha BC, Karanati K, Venkatesan K, Sreelekha BC, Kumar VD. E-learning during COVID-19 pandemic: A surge in childhood obesity. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2021;Jul 14:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Poly TN, Islam MM, Yang HC, Lin MC, Jian WS, Hsu MH, et al. Obesity and mortality among patients diagnosed with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Med (Lausanne) 2021;8:620044.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Bhatt SP, Misra A, Pandey RM, Upadhyay AD, Gulati S, Singh N. Vitamin D supplementation in overweight/obese Asian Indian women with prediabetes reduces glycemic measures and truncal subcutaneous fat: A 78 weeks randomized placebo-controlled trial (PREVENT-WIN Trial). Sci Rep 2020;10:220.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Ritu G, Gupta A. Vitamin D deficiency in India: Prevalence, causalities and interventions. Nutrients 2014;6:729-75.  Back to cited text no. 10
    




 

 
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