Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body and thus the construction and growth of bone. Vitamin D is also responsible for many of the reactions in the body’s cells. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. There are also some studies that indicate that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, impaired immune system and the possibility of infection. It is worth noting that lack of vitamin D in the human body is a health problem in many parts of the world, but the optimal concentration of vitamin D is still controversial.


The body makes vitamin D when skin is exposed to the ultraviolet light (UVB rays) from the sun. It has been suggested by some vitamin D researchers, that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.

However, during the Summer months in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi it is too hot to be exposed to the sun in order to make enough vitamin D. In addition, it is the important to protect our skin by using sunscreen and getting vitamin D from foods and/or supplements.


Very few foods naturally have vitamin D. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D diets.

• Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best sources.

• Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks provide small amounts.

• Mushrooms provide some vitamin D. In some mushrooms that are newly available in stores, the vitamin D content is being boosted by exposing these mushrooms to ultraviolet light.

• Milk supply made in UAE is fortified with 300-400 IU of vitamin D per quart.

• Yogurt supply made in UAE is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per kilogram.

• Vitamin D is added to many imported breakfast cereals and to some brands of imported orange juice, yogurt, and soy beverages; so it is important to check the labels.

Birth to 12 months 400 IU
Children 1–13 years 600 IU
Teens 14–18 years 600 IU
Adults 19–70 years 600 IU
Adults 71 years and older 800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 600 IU

Eel 792 85 grams
Trout 645 85 grams
Salmon (smoked chinook) 583 85 grams
Swordfish 566 85 grams
Salmon (pink, canned) 465 85 grams
Salmon, sockeye 447 85 grams
Catfish (wild) 425 85 grams
Mackerel (Atlantic) 388 85 grams
Salmon (wild) 307 85 grams
Tuna (light, canned in oil) 229 85 grams
Sardines (Atlantic, canned in oil) 164 85 grams
Rockfish 156 85 grams
Tuna (light, canned in water) 154 85 grams
Halibut 196 85 grams
Flounder or sole 118 85 grams
Herring (pickled) 96 85 grams
Tuna (white, canned in water) 68 85 grams
Tuna, yellowfin 70 85 grams
Shitake mushrooms 41 1 cup
Egg 41 1 large egg (including yolk)