Virtual Conference
Nutrition 2022

Mai Albaik

Batterjee Medica College, Saudi Arabia

Title: Vitamin D Deficiency in Saudi Arabia


Vitamin D is a hot topic that has attracted attention over the past 10 years, especially since a large proportion of people suffer from this nutrient deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is globally estimated ~1 billion people. Most studies have identified VDD at [25(OH)D] concentrations less than 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL).
Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in the whole world and is also predominate in Asia and the Middle East (more than 50% of the population is VDD). Like other countries in the world, Saudi Arabia has also demonstrated a terrible prevalence of VDD among the healthy Saudi population for both genders and for different age groups; It was recorded among Saudi women (41.2-100%) compared to Saudi men (32.5- 92.6%). VDD was not limited to adults, but also included newborns (88-90%), children and adolescents (40.6- 97.8%).
Deficiency of vitamin D can result from many reasons such as inadequacy dietary vitamin D, malabsorption, increased excretion and catabolism, limited sunlight exposure and inefficient production in the skin. Dietary deficiency of vitamin D is associated with milk allergy, lactose intolerance, ovo-vegetarianism, and veganism. In addition, various diseases affect the bioavailability of vitamin D, such as gastrointestinal disorders.
Severe VDD leads to osteomalacia in adults; rickets in children, defective bone mineralization, increased bone turnover, increased risk of fractures, impaired reproductive function and production of gonadal hormones that may affect other organs.
To improve the status of vitamin D deficiency, distinct strategies should be applied to raise the vitamin D store as a routine measurement through sunlight exposure. Moreover, nutritionists should emphasize increased dairy intake, vitamin D and calcium supplementations, and vitamin D-fortified foods. Finally, effective educational programs are needed to raise public awareness of this serious problem.


Dr. Mai Albaik is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Batterjee Medical College, Saudi Arabia, since 2019. Additionally, she is a Collaborated Researcher with Clinical and Molecular Osteoporosis Center, Lund University, Sweden, (2016-2022). Prior to that, she was a Researcher at King Fahd Medical Research Center, Saudi Arabia (2011-2019).
Dr. Mai holds a PhD in Biochemistry from King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia (Grade 4.98, 2015). Dr. Mai Albaik won two scientific awards during her scientific career. In addition, she carried out several research projects, published a book chapter and many research papers in ISI journals, and participated in many local and international scientific conferences.