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How to Detect and Beat Vitamin D Deficiency in the UAE

Believe it or Not, Most People in the UAE Are Not Getting Enough Sun

With warm weather year-round, most people would expect that residents of the UAE are getting more than enough rays.

But according to a new report, dodging the sun as the weather gets warmer might be a bad idea.

The United Arab Emirates has one of the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency on the planet, with a whopping 86 per cent of people not getting enough.

It may seem like no big deal, but lacking in the stuff means you're not getting what you need to absorb calcium therefore help prevent bone disease and cancer, plus put off cardiovascular disease and muscle weakness.

According to Dr Afrozul Haq, principal scientist at VPS Healthcare, pollution in the region could be stopping us from getting what we need from the sun. He also pointed out that we actually get more Vitamin D during the winter months when we're more likely to be outdoors, reports Gulf News.

An additional factor is people wearing clothing that covers more skin, preventing them from making Vitamin D after sun exposure.

So how can we increase levels in the region? It's believed that just 10-15 minutes of being in the sun each day is enough, although people with darker skin tones may have to spend up to 10 times longer laying out. Chowing down on plenty of fish, eggs and mushrooms is also helpful. Vegans may need to top up with supplements.

If you're experiencing fatigue, depression, high body fat, gut trouble, head sweats or you muscles and bones are in pain, you may need to take an at-home blood test or ask a doctor for one.

Here are 10 foods to boost your Vitamin D intake:

• Canned salmon has 920 IU.

• Vitasoy Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu packs 581 IU.

• Soy milk (with added calcium and vitamins A and D) has 297 IU.

• Orange juice (fortified with calcium and vitamin D) packs 259 IU.

• Low-fat milk (with added vitamins A and D) serves up 248 IU.

• Nonfat milk (with added vitamins A and D) has 241 IU.

• Kellogg's All-Bran with extra fiber dishes 219 IU.

• Quaker instant oatmeal (the "For Women" variety) has 188 IU.

• Mushrooms (raw) have 164 IU.

• One scrambled egg has 41 IU.

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