Connector July 2023

CONNECTOR.AE 38 CONNECTOR.AE 39 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness Prevalence Of Vitamin D In The UAE Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is mainly received from the sun, however can also be sourced through certain food items like egg yolks, salmon and red meat. When exposed to the sun, the skin cells in the body use the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to convert cholesterol into vitamin D. The vitamin is important for the body as it improves strength in muscles and joints, prevents health ailments like heart diseases and high blood pressure, as well as boosts moods and the immune system. Additionally, vitamin D also contributes to eye health and prevents dry eyes, glaucoma and cataract. When the body does not receive the adequate amount of vitamin D needed, the issue can lead to muscle pain, weakness in the bones, fractures and weakened muscles, which can take a toll on a person’s day-today activities and life. Even though the UAE experiences sun throughout the year, vitamin D deficiency is a common issue faced by many individuals, and around 90% of people in the region are deficient in vitamin D. To maintain vitamin D levels, exposure to the sun is essential for at least 20 minutes a day during peak hours, and without preventive measures like sunscreen. not getting the right amount of vitamin D needed. According to Dr Juliana Korth, Internal Medicine Specialist at Allied Medical Center in Dubai, “In Arab countries, there are studies that show the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency to be around 90% of the population.” Some of the symptoms of vitamin D, as mentioned by Dr Mohamed Ahmed Raslan Omar of Burjeel Hospital are, - Fatigue - Bone deformity - Pain in the back - Myalgia, which is pain developed in the muscles - Cramps - Weakness - Skeletal deformities in children Dr Juliana Korth of Allied Medical Center further added, “The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are vague and can range also from osteoporosis in later life and rickets in children. Many studies are showing an association between vitamin D deficiency and cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and depression.” To get a better understanding of the issues caused by vitamin D deficiency, Connector spoke to specialists in the UAE as well as to get insight into how to better remedy it. Vitamin D is a critical vitamin that is required for the body and is linked to maintaining the health of the bones. When the body does not receive the required vitamin D, it takes its toll on a person’s bones and joints, leading to weakness. However, when the body does receive the right amount of vitamin D, it is able to better absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are critical in strengthening bones. Vitamin D has also been linked to reducing cancer cells and preventing infections in the body. Dr Mohamed Ahmed Raslan Omar, Specialist Internal Medicine at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi said, “Vitamin D is a vitamin in our bodies that aids in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. Vitamin D also regulates a variety of other bodily activities. Its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective characteristics help to maintain immunological function, muscular function, and brain cell functioning.” The UAE is known for its hot and sunny climate, however, as most people spend time indoors, it contributes to the body