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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 8570986, 13 pages
Research Article

Vitamin D Intake among Premenopausal Women Living in Jeddah: Food Sources and Relationship to Demographic Factors and Bone Health

1Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
2Department of Nuclear Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence should be addressed to Tahani A. Zareef; moc.liamtoh@0002feeraz_t

Received 7 September 2017; Revised 12 December 2017; Accepted 28 December 2017; Published 19 March 2018

Academic Editor: Mohammed S. Razzaque

Copyright © 2018 Tahani A. Zareef et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Saudi women depend on food sources to maintain their serum 25(OH) D concentrations because covering by traditional clothing and time spent indoors limit their sun exposure. Little is known about vitamin D intake and its main food sources in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the association between vitamin D and calcium intake and bone mineral density (BMD) in young women is not well researched. Objectives. To assess the adequacy of vitamin D intake among Saudi women as compared to the estimated average requirements (EARs), to identify dietary vitamin D sources, to examine potential determinants of vitamin D intake, and to assess bone health and the association of calcium and vitamin D intake with BMD. Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted in 257 premenopausal women aged 20–50 years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Dietary vitamin D and calcium were assessed by the Semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire. BMD was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in a subset of women at the lumbar spine and femur neck. Results. Sixty-five percent of women were below the EAR for vitamin D, and 61% fell below the EAR for calcium. Dairy products, supplements, and fish contributed most to vitamin D intake. Increased age was an independent determinant of sufficient vitamin D intake . The prevalence of osteopenia was 33% in the lumbar spine and 30% in the femur neck. There was a significant positive association between calcium intake and BMD at the lumbar spine after controlling for body mass index and energy intake. Vitamin D intake was not significantly different between women with low and normal bone mass. Conclusion. Premenopausal women in Jeddah have insufficient vitamin D and calcium intakes. Public health strategies to improve nutrition in young women are needed, and expanding fortification programs to include all dairy products would be useful.