After spending months indoors, experts are urging the public to get out and get some sun to avoid a potential Vitamin D deficiency.
Since the coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans to remain cooped up in their homes, many haven’t been able to get the “sunshine” nutrient naturally.
But even as states lift their stay-at-home orders, cases are spiking in what's known as a second-wave, meaning that people may not be getting out of quarantine for long enough to soak in enough sun.
“It can only come from adequate sun exposure, and without that, there’s no source of Vitamin D that’s enough,” says Dr. Len Horovitz, an internist and pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital told the New York Post. “Either you’re a farmer or a tennis pro and you get it that way, or you take a [daily] gel cap.”
“[People] have even less ultraviolet exposure in lockdown,” says Horovitz.
“But it can be corrected,” he adds explaining that while sun-derived Vitamin D is more potent, taking a "gel cap in the morning" is useful.
In fact, Dori Arad, Ph.D., a clinical dietitian, exercise physiologist and director of Mount Sinai’s Physiolab, said it was “one of the easiest definiciens to correct.”
Healthline notes you can also add fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified foods to your diet or invest in a UV lamp.
With benefits such as improved bone density and strengthened immune systems, “it’s the only vitamin people really need,” Horovitz explains.
Lack of Vitamin D isn’t obvious in adults but may include symptoms of fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness and cramps, and mood changes such as depression.