Does Fresh Air make the Difference; a Comparative Study in Vitamin D Status among College Adolescent Females from Giza and Red Sea Governorates

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Nutrition; National Nutrition Institute, Cairo, Egypt

2 Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Menofia University.

3 M Sc student Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Menofia University.


The level of air pollution is negatively associated with the amount of solar ultra-violet ray B (UVB) that reaches earth surface. So, more pollutant areas lead to less UVB passage and consequently, 25 (OH) vitamin D cutaneous syntheses reduces. The research was carried out to study the effect of some biological, behavioral, and environmental factors on vitamin D level among college adolescent females from Red Sea and Giza governorates. A convenient sample consisted of 151 first grade university female youth was selected. Written consent was an initial basic step. Vitamin D intake was assessed and serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D], and parathyroid hormone (PTH), were measured. Food intake was compared to the recommended dietary allowances. Results revealed that majority of respondents (92.0%) were veiled and exposed to sun at noon time and 61.0 % mentioned that sun- exposure took more than an hour. Waist circumference (WC) and waist to height ratio (WC to Ht) in Giza sample and increased fish consumption per week in Red Sea sample showed a positive effect on vitamin D status. Spring season had a negative influential effect on Giza participants. This study concluded that lack of sun exposure as the main cause of vitamin D deficiency in college female, there is also limited awareness of the association between sun exposure and vitamin D synthesis. Fresh air and good food practices could aid in solving health problems with such an influence as hypovitaminosis D. This study emphasized the need for further vitamin D assessment and intervention by supplementation or fortification of a staple food item. There is also an urgent need for public education to improve vitamin D- related practice and to minimize health hazards of improper exposure to UV B rays.