Impact of Nutritional and Environmental Factors on Vitamin D Deficiency

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Consultant Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

2 King Hussein Cancer Center, Jordan.

3 Nursing, University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

4 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D can be obtained through a variety of food sources; however, ultraviolet rays in the sunlight
can convert a natural substance in the skin known as ergosterol to vitamin D. Aim: This study aims to investigate the
prevalence and risk factors linked to vitamin D deficiency among a group of apparently healthy young male and female
Tabuk citizens in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study that comprised a convenience sampling method of 350
male and female Tabuk citizens. Results: The results indicated a generalized vitamin D deficiency and severe deficiency
among the participants, where 74.57% of the population had vitamin D deficiency, and 25.43% reported vitamin D
sufficiency. There was a significant positive correlation among the BMI, exercise, exposure to sunlight, vitamin D
intake, and calcium intake with vitamin D status (r = 0.574,** 0.525,** 0.515,** 0.466 and 0.465** at p-value < 0.001,
respectively). Conclusion: The present study indicates vitamin D deficiency to be relatively common even among the
population of Saudi Arabia, a country receiving adequate sunlight. Also, Vitamin D and calcium supplementation can
prove to be beneficial in correcting the deficiency. Moreover, the individuals at a higher risk of vitamin insufficiency,
such as women, need to be educated on the health benefits of vitamin D and calcium supplementation.

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