Sooryayog and Vitamin D deficiency epidemic in India.
Sunny SandhuAn estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicities and age groups, have a vitamin Ddeficiency(1-4).Most humans depend on sun exposure to satisfy their requirements for vitamin D,dietary resources are low in vitamin D . Humans are spending more time indoors away from Sununder artificial light which lead to Vitamin D deficiency . Vitamin D deficiency causes ricketsamong children and osteoporosis and osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D deficiency has beenassociated with increased risks of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis,rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus.Although chronic excessive exposure to sunlightincreases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, the avoidance of all direct sun exposure increasesthe risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can have serious consequences
(5). Dark skinned people likeAsians and Africans have high melanin which protects from harmful effects of Ultraviolet Radiation(6)and thus prevalence of skin cancer is very low in India(7) . Sooryayog is a combination of SunTrataka/Sun gazing (8) for ten minutes after sunrise(9), followed by meditation for 20 minutes. Inthis process practitioners expose atleast 20 percent of their skin to direct Sunlight , thus theysunbath for total of 30 minutes while doing Sooryayog . Sun trataka and meditation helps improvethe eyesight, concentration , alertness , lowers stress and corrects the biological clock . Sooryayogis hypothesised to provide enough Vitamin D for our needs free of cost. Consumption of oralVitamid D has risk of toxicity (10) . Excessive exposure to sunlight will not result in vitamin Dintoxication because both previtamin D(3) and vitamin D(3) are photolyzed to several noncalcemic photoproducts(11) . This is the advantage of Sooryayog as a public health tool to combat Vitamin Ddeficiency in India and tropical countries .References :1.Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:266–281.2.Gordon CM, DePeter KC, Feldman HA, et al. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthyadolescents.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158:531–537.3.Lips P, Hosking D, Lippuner K, et al. The prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy amongstwomen with osteoporosis: an international epidemiological investigation. J Intern Med.2006;260:245–254.4.Ganapati Mudur , Indian endocrinologist warm of Vitamin D deficiency .BMJ.2003 January4;326(7379):125.Michael F Holick , Sunlight and Vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmunediseases , cancers and cardiovascular diseases .AM J Clin Nutr.2004 Dec;80(6Suppl):1678S-88S