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80% of Qatari People Suffer from Vitamin D Deficiency

Dr Vijay Ganji, Associate Professor at the College of Health Sciences in Qatar University (QU-CHS) Department of Human Nutrition, presented a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Seminar at Hamad General Hospital on ‘Vitamin D and Chronic Diseases: What is the Evidence? Is it Time for Supplementation’.

Dr Vijay Ganji

The seminar engaged 115 healthcare professionals from Hamad General Hospital, Primary Health Care Corporation, Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital, and Aspetar. The seminar has been approved by Qatar Council for Healthcare Professionals.

The seminar was 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, understanding the current vitamin D recommendations and controversies surrounding these recommendations, recognising the effects of vitamin D excessive intake, and making appropriate recommendations to improve vitamin D proportion.

Dr Vijay Ganji noted that more than 80% of the Qatari population suffers from low levels of vitamin D. He warned that vitamin D deficiency is related to several chronic infirmities such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, several inflammatory diseases, and cancer. He also pointed to food-based solutions such as commonly consumed foods, i.e. 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, still 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.’

For more information about QU-CHS, visit

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