Despite abundant sunshine, Vitamin D deficiency rampant in Qatar
April 09 2018 09:52 PM
Vitamin D and sunshine


More than 80% of the Qatari population suffer from low levels of Vitamin D, a seminar for health care professionals has been told.

There were 115 participants at the seminar on “Vitamin D and Chronic Diseases: What is the Evidence? Is it Time for Supplementation”, held at Hamad General Hospital. 
The participants were from Hamad General Hospital, Primary Health Care Corporation, Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital and Aspetar. 
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminar was approved by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Professionals. 
The seminar aimed to evaluate the current evidence relating Vitamin D to chronic diseases and to provide evidence-based recommendations to improve Vitamin D proportion. 
Discussions focused on understanding various Vitamin D sources, analysing different types of supplements available for consumers, evaluating the current evidence relating Vitamin D to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer, understanding the current Vitamin D recommendations and controversies surrounding these recommendations, recognising the effects of Vitamin D excessive intake, and making appropriate recommendation to improve Vitamin D proportion.
“Vitamin D deficiency is related to several chronic infirmities such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, several inflammatory diseases, and cancer,” said Dr Vijay Ganji, associate professor at Qatar University College of Health Sciences (QU-CHS) Department of Human Nutrition.
He pointed to solutions such as commonly consumed foods, ie vegetable oil, wheat flour, to reduce Vitamin D deficiency in Qatar.
“There is 'no gold standard' to define Vitamin D deficiency. Different investigators/organisations used different criteria to define Vitamin D deficiency based on blood Vitamin D concentrations. Although there is plenty of sunshine available in Qatar, the majority of the population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency due to limited outdoor activity and lack of enough Vitamin D in the Qatari diet,” he added.

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