ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2018 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Tolerance, inaugurated the “Abu Dhabi Annual International Conference on Vitamin D Deficiency and Human Health” on Thursday at Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Nahyan said that the Abu Dhabi healthcare system is committed to having the most advanced technologies for detecting diseases as early as possible and implementing the most-effective treatments and cures. The success of government-supported healthcare facilities and of the private healthcare enterprises has made Abu Dhabi a regional centre of healthcare excellence.
Underlining the sincere efforts being made across the world to highlight the impact of Vitamin D, Sheikh Nahyan said that the findings support the hypothesis that Vitamin D has protective effects against life-threatening diseases.
He mentioned a report published recently in the British Medical Journal pointing out that higher Vitamin D concentration was associated with lower risk of total cancer. He also mentioned another study that is investigating whether taking daily dietary supplements of Vitamin D3 or Omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and stroke in people who do not have a prior history of those illnesses.
“Research on the impact of Vitamin D deficiency is widespread but will there ever come a time when you will have conclusive evidence so that you can provide definitive guidance and end the delirium in the world of Vitamin D?” he questioned.
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Conference President and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, Abu Dhabi, lamented that despite the UAE’s abundant sunshine, physicians still observe cases of Vitamin D deficiency.
“Unfortunately, a recent study has revealed that a majority of UAE’s population is Vitamin D deficient because of a sedentary lifestyle and lack of outdoor activities. Lack of Vitamin D has serious repercussions and can increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases like diabetes, schizophrenia and asthma among others,” he said.
Speakers gathered from across the world also expressed concern over the high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in this region and stressed the need to raise awareness. They said that people must realise that Vitamin D is an essential vitamin and a hormone for human growth potential and survival. It does not cause only bone disorders. It is vital for women’s health and pregnancy, neonatal and child health. At the same time, Vitamin D deficiency or excess also cast significant impacts on life-threatening diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Najlaa Aljefree, lecturer in food and nutrition at King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia, said that a recent study conducted in Saudi Arabia has revealed that Vitamin D deficiency is independently associated with coronary heart disease among adults in the country.
“Severe Vitamin D deficiency was much more prevalent in coronary heart disease cases (46 percent) than in controls (3 percent). The results of multivariate logistic regression showed that Vitamin D deficiency was associated with coronary heart disease,” she said.
Dr. Nahla Subhi Saleh Al-Bayyari, Assistant Professor at Al Balqa Applied University, Jordan, said that Vitamin D treatment improves androgens level and hirsutism score of overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome. If left unattended, it may lead to infertility.
“Since Vitamin D deficiency was found more prevalent among overweight women, I recommend Vitamin D supplementation for all overweight women of reproductive age (between 18-49 years old), because it decreases androgens level and improves their fertility without any signs and symptoms of toxicity,” she added.
The conference will continue on Friday offering healthcare professionals opportunities to share ideas, best practices, as well as the opportunity to further strengthen clinical collaborations.