Importance of Vitamin D and Sunshine

Despite the abundance of sun available in the UAE, the rate of Vitamin D deficiency is seen to be increasing among residents, more than 80 percent according to statistics available by Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Various age groups have been diagnosed with this issue including children, corporate professionals who spend their entire day in the office, young adolescents (majority girls) and married women. The main factor being the indoor lifestyle of UAE and not getting enough exposure to direct sunlight, which is considered to be the best source to obtain this vitamin. Others comprise of not having a diet rich in Vitamin D, smoking and obesity.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps the body to absorb calcium, prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis, and can help to reduce the risk of heart, cancer and diabetes illnesses, making its importance vital. Indications of lack of Vitamin D in the body include feeling of tiredness, low spirit/bad mood, and muscle and bone pain.

According to experts it is essential to have direct sunlight exposure for at least 15-20 minutes three times a week ideally from dawn till 11 am. Since this is a desert, the sun rays later on in the mid-day can become harmful so it is best to avoid those. Apart from sun exposure, foods rich in Vitamin D also help to increase your body level. Fortified milk, fish, eggs and green leafy vegetables are some sources that should be included in your diet. Salmon, mackerels, and canned tuna are highly recommended. When both these objectives are not achieved supplements are available, but they should only be taken by advice from your doctor depending on how chronic the diagnosis is.

Vitamin D is extremely important to your body and lifestyle variations must be made in order to stay healthy. With a lot of awareness being shed on this topic many are now getting their blood levels checked, and implementing positive changes. So, soak up some sunshine, eat healthy food, exercise and get your blood level checked regularly to keep a track of all your essential body levels.