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Call for greater awareness on vitamin D deficiency

ABU DHABI // The public needs to be better informed about the effects of vitamin D deficiency on other conditions, an Abu Dhabi conference has heard.

Vitamin D deficiency can have a severe impact on autoimmune processes, several types of cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and pregnancy, experts said.

Their comments came on Thursday at the Vitamin D Deficiency and Human Health conference at Jumeirah Etihad Towers hotel.

Speaking at the conference, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said UAE physicians still observe cases of bone disorders despite the country’s sunshine.

Lack of exposure to sunlight has been linked to vitamin D deficiency.

“Since the medical profession has convincing evidence showing that adequate levels of vitamin D may prevent many bone disorders, your knowledge must radiate like the sun when you detect vitamin D deficiencies,” he said.

Dr Saleema Wani, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Corniche Hospital, said vitamin D deficiency is widespread and she has found up to a 90 per cent deficiency in many patients.

She suggested efforts to ensure the foetus or newborn does not suffer from serious ailment because of the mother’s vitamin D deficiency.

The conference continues on Friday with sessions on vitamin D and genetic diseases, children and other topics.

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The National