, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 243-250
Date: 08 Sep 2011

Vitamin D in the Persian Gulf: Integrative Physiology and Socioeconomic Factors

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Abstract

Countries of the Persian Gulf region—Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates—have become increasingly modernized, resulting in a transformation of lifestyle based on technology, sedentary activity, lack of sunlight, and unhealthy dietary patterns. These factors have led to a higher prevalence not only of vitamin D undernutrition, but also chronic obesity, insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. This review explores the integrative physiologic effects of vitamin D with socioeconomic factors and propose a hypothesis-driven model for their contributions to obesity and diabetes in the Persian Gulf. Further research into these interactions may ultimately lead to novel preventive strategies and therapies for metabolic disorders in this geographic region.