How to Get Vitamin D in Dubai

Struggling to Get Enough Vitamin D in Sunny Dubai?

Get more of the elusive vitamin – here’s how.

Vitamin D deficiency is a common issue not just locally, but globally, as there are around three billion people worldwide who are deficient in this critical vitamin. There are many factors that contribute to this deficiency and, here, we’ll explore some of the main reasons. But let’s start with why we need this vitamin – it’s not just to protect from rickets!

Vitamin D plays a central role in the immune system, muscle function, bone strength, cardiovascular function, respiratory system, and brain development. Once activated, it works by managing calcium in your blood, bones, and gut. It also helps cells all over the body communicate properly. Another not-so-well-known benefit is that it’s a pro-hormone, which means it is needed for the production of hormones – especially sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone – and has a role in fertility. I believe my low vitamin D was a contributor to my unexplained infertility and I wish I knew more 15 years ago!

Vitamin D Deficiency in Dubai

How can you tell if you have vitamin D deficiency?

There are some signs and symptoms that indicate that vitamin D levels are deficient or suboptimal (suboptimal means it is within normal range, but not at an optimal level for your body). Here are seven such signs that you need more vitamin D:

  1. Chronic pain in muscles, joints, and back
  2. Mood swings
  3. Depression – you might have heard about winter seasonal depression, but this could also happen even if you’re living in year-round sunny regions due to a lack of vitamin D
  4. Feeling fatigued and sleepy during the day
  5. Insomnia 
  6. Osteoporosis or stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bones
  7. Frequent illnesses, like getting colds and flu or feeling you can’t easily shake off a cold

For a detailed review of vitamin D and signs of deficiency, you can refer here.

What causes a vitamin D deficiency?

Your skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to a pinking dose of sunlight. How much vitamin D you make depends on age, genetics, how much skin is uncovered, and skin tone. Without sunblock and with arms and legs exposed, your skin will typically make 10,000 to 15,000 units of vitamin D in one pinking sun exposure, on average.

Where you live (latitude) also has an impact based on how much radiation from the sun for vitamin D production is available. Even environmental pollution affects how much radiation you can get from the sun. As you see, there are so many different factors, and today, I will focus on two critical factors that most people overlook when trying to increase their vitamin D levels.

Insufficient Magnesium

The body uses nutrients in a symphony – not solo! Vitamin D works with vitamins A, k2, and magnesium. Thus, relying on vitamin D supplements or booster injections alone will not resolve your issues in the long term, and often supplementing with a high dosage would tip your body into an imbalance as it tries to handle the sudden increase in intake without having enough of the supporting synergistic nutrients it needs.

Magnesium is required for the body to convert vitamin D into its final, usable form. It’s also a very common nutrient deficiency, especially for those with cardiovascular or blood sugar control (e.g. diabetics). Many factors deplete our magnesium reserves, such as stress and taking certain medications like acid suppressants and birth control pills. And we’re not likely to get enough magnesium from food because of soil erosion from modern agricultural practices.

So, if you find yourself getting low vitamin D levels every time you test, then focus on boosting your magnesium levels even before starting with vitamin D supplementation. You can use Epsom salt foot or bath soaks, or use a supplement. However, keep in mind that there are eight different types of magnesium, and your overall health determines what type works best for you to get the benefits you’re looking for and avoid issues from using an inappropriate type. Please don’t hesitate to ask if your doctor if have questions about the most effective or reliable tests for gauging your sufficiency or what forms of these nutrients are most bio-available.

Insufficient Healthy Fats

Many people, unfortunately, fear fat and are not consuming enough, which affects their hormones, digestion, the health of their cells, and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D! Incorporating healthy fats into your daily meals would boost your absorption to improve your vitamin D levels. These include salmon and other fatty fish, avocado, ghee, and butter (animal-based, not made of or mixed with vegetable oils), olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment in Dubai

How can you boost your vitamin D naturally?

The best source of vitamin D is, of course, exposure to sunlight (specifically UVB). Here’s how you can maximise your vitamin D3 production from sunlight.

  1. Body exposure: You need to expose at least 35% of your body to get sufficient exposure, so make sure your face, arms, and lower legs are uncovered (wear a tank top and shorts, for example).
  2. Duration: How much time you need to spend in the sun depends on your skin tone and is explained below. 
    • Light skin = 15-20 minutes daily
    • Medium skin = 25-30 minutes daily
    • Dark skin = 40-45 minutes daily
  1. Time: The best time to get sun exposure depends on the latitude and season. According to a study done for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the optimum time to get sun exposure for vitamin D3 production during summer is from 9am and before 10:30am, as well as after 2pm until 3pm, while during winter it’s from 10am until 2pm. UAE is in close proximity, so similar timing would work.
  2. Sunscreen: Keep in mind that wearing sunscreen, even an SPF of 30, would limit your body’s ability to make vitamin D and reduce it up to 95-98% according to several studies. Practically speaking, you can sunbathe without sunscreen initially, up to the duration recommended above, and then apply the sunscreen if you will be spending more time. The key point is that your skin should not actually burn, so do wear protective clothing or apply mineral sunscreen if you’re staying longer in the sun. Note: mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the main ingredients versus other types of sunscreens, which use toxic chemicals that remain circulating in your bloodstream.

Some foods are also considered sources of vitamin D, however, the amount in food is not high enough to fully rely on just it. Here are examples of food sources highest in vitamin D:

  • Salmon and fatty fish provides around 100 IU per 30 grams of fish
  • Chicken or beef liver provides 25-50 IU per 100 grams of meat
  • Egg yolk provides 20-40 IU per egg yolk
  • Mushrooms are known to be a source of vitamin D, but you only get 1 IU per a medium-sized mushroom, so it is far from a practical choice!

When it comes to diet, as mentioned earlier, make sure you have sufficient magnesium levels and that healthy fats are part of your diet.

Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment

How would the functional medicine approach solve your deficiency?

A functional medicine approach is different from traditional allopathic medicine because it views the body as one whole interconnected unit, and every organ and function in the body needs to be at an optimal state for healthy vibrant wellness. Applying this to testing, the notion of a marker being in the “normal range” is not good enough. These normal ranges were calculated based on statistical norms, including an unhealthy population. Tested levels are best to be at optimal levels (not just normal range), and that optimal level depends on the marker and what is sufficient for each unique person.

To clarify this point, vitamin D’s normal level starts from 30ng/mL. However, levels below 40ng/mL are linked to twice the risk of heart attacks, increased high blood pressure, and three times the risk of multiple sclerosis, while levels above 50ng/mL have shown a 50% reduction in breast cancer and decreased risk of all solid cancers. And some people feel their best when their vitamin D level is at 70ng/mL. Of course, as always, too much of anything can have adverse effects, and clinical research is starting to uncover that significantly elevated vitamin D might have many negative consequences. Thus, there’s no one clear value that is best for everyone and functional medicine builds on this to take a very personalised approach.

From adorable infants through to our beloved elderly ones, everyone should have their vitamin D level checked at least once a year, preferably twice, as that is the only way to determine actual levels. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you are getting enough vitamin D. We also have varying levels of vitamin D receptor sensitivity in our cells, so paying attention to your symptoms and overall wellness is also key to understanding when your body needs support. All these factors would be taken into consideration when determining what dosing is right for you.

Those with digestive issues may need specific forms or higher doses to gain optimal blood levels, but generally speaking, daily dosages in liquid or softgel form supported by the other synergistic vitamins are better absorbed and gentler on the body, such as this supplement from Seeking Health brand, which is a combination of vitamins D3 and k2. Be sure to consult your practitioner for your unique needs and always repeat testing after two to three months of using supplements to gauge the change and map out a maintenance plan.


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Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Busy Women

Feel better, today.

Whether you are a career woman or a hands-on homemaker, as a woman you will always have a lot on your plate. You keep overworking yourself to achieve ‘out of this world’ goals without even realising that you need a break once in a while. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about taking care of yourself. We all know how challenging it can be to juggle work, family, and personal responsibilities. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about taking care of ourselves. Self-care ends up coming last on your priorities when it really needs to be your top priority. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

If you’re one of those busy women who keep working round the clock be it at work or at home (or both), pause and ask yourself this, “When was the last time I took a break? When was the last time I felt like myself?”. Be honest with yourself and know that it’s okay if your answer ends up being, “Never.” Well, it’s not really okay for your long-term physical health, emotional well-being, and overall productivity, but it’s okay for you to be honest with yourself at this moment so you can become aware and start to do something about it. Remember, it’s never too late to make a change. And, today is as good as any day to make that change!

Making time for self-care doesn’t have to be a complex or expensive affair. It can be as simple as a ritual of deep and mindful breathwork or indulging in a long soak in the bath. We’ve curated a list of our favourite self-care activities and the things we love to indulge with and hope they inspire you too to do the same.

So, let’s dive into ten self-care tips every woman should follow to prioritise their well-being.

Get Enough Sleep

According to a UAE sleep survey, nearly 50% of respondents complained of not sleeping enough and waking in the middle of the night. Sleep is crucial for your mental and physical health and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night is recommended to feel rested and refreshed the next day. Lack of sleep contributes to chronic stress which in turn can lead to a whole host of ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and depression.

Sleep Essentials


Sleep Essential Oil Mist

AED 95.00


Cosy Dreams Spelt Husk Pillow

AED 365.00


Sleepover Eye Mask

AED 100.00

Wear Healing Crystals

Healing Crystals are natural semi-precious gems formed deep in the heart of the earth and have unique energy frequencies based on their molecular structure. Their energies can help unblock and recharge our energy centres for us to be and work at an optimal level and bring positive changes to our lives. It’s a form of wearable self-care. For instance, Rose Quartz and Amethyst crystal bracelets can help promote self-love, tranquillity, and spiritual growth.

Crystal Essentials


Rose Quartz Bracelet

AED 45.00


Amethyst Bracelet

AED 46.00

Purify Your Skin

Self-care also includes taking care of your skin. Did you know that Himalayan Salt is packed with over 84 trace minerals that are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory? It’s also an amazing purifier for your bedroom or office. Many skin conditions like acne are actually caused by bacteria that live on our skin and contribute to the infection of pimples.

Salt Essentials


Amber Salt Lamp

AED 140.00


White Salt Lamp

AED 140.00

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety, increase happiness, and improve overall well-being. You can start with a simple practice of deep breathing or guided meditation, but if you’re looking for a more comprehensive tool, try The Keys To The Universe Cards. They offer guidance and action to accelerate your journey to awareness and enlightenment.

Mindfulness Essentials


The Keys to The Universe Cards by Diana Cooper

AED 150.00


Relaxation Meditation Kit

AED 150.00

Move Your Body

A lot of the time, when we think of self-care, we visualise things like sleeping in, taking a hot bath, finding “me” time in the day – basically, relaxing activities. Engaging in physical activity may not always be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of self-care but it is an excellent way to release endorphins and boost your mood. And, therefore working out or being active should definitely be on your self-care To-Do list. Movement is just another way to take care of your body and mind.

Workout Essentials


Ecosoft Bra

AED 180.00


Ecosoft Short

AED 160.00

Upgrade Your Nutrition

Eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Prioritise eating foods that fuel your body with vitamins, minerals, and energy. Add superfoods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and berries to your meals. Also, adequate water and other fluids keep you hydrated and ensure your body has the hydration levels to run your body optimally.

Nutrition Essentials


The Energy Cookie

AED 90.00


Aventurine Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00


Good Morning Energizing Loose Tea

AED 40.00

Connect with Nature

Spending time in nature can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. A meta-analysis of over 140 studies published in Environmental Research, for instance, found that green space exposure was associated with lowered cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood pressure—all signifying stress reduction—as well as reduced incidence of chronic health conditions like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. So, take that walk in the park without thinking twice, go for a hike, or simply sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!

Practise Gratitude

Practising gratitude can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and increase feelings of joy and contentment. Gratitude is not just something that you feel, it is something that can be expressed through actions, behaviours, and gestures. Your brain responds to this by releasing dopamine and serotonin, which can have a positive impact on your mood. Try writing down three things you’re grateful for each day or saying them out loud before bed.

Ask for Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or professionals for support when you need it. There are various support groups available in Dubai that focus on self-care and well-being. Here are some resources that can help you find a self-care support group that works for you:

Dubai Foundation for Women and Children: This organization provides support and resources for women and children who have experienced domestic violence or abuse. They offer counselling services, support groups, and workshops focused on self-care and empowerment.

The Light House Arabia: This mental health and wellness centre in Dubai offers various support groups and workshops focused on self-care, stress management, and mental health. They offer both in-person and online services.

Mind House: This online mental wellness platform offers various programs and support groups focused on self-care and mindfulness. They offer both group and individual sessions with trained professionals.

Meetup.com: This is a website that connects people with similar interests and hobbies, including self-care and wellness. You can search for local groups that focus on self-care, meditation, or other wellness practices.

When looking for a self-care support group, it’s important to consider what type of support you’re looking for, your schedule, and your preferences for in-person or online support. Don’t be afraid to try different groups until you find one that feels like the right fit for you.

So, there you have ten self-care tips every woman should follow to prioritise their well-being. Incorporating these can make a significant difference in your self-care routine. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary!

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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Your Female Email

Gaggler your inbox for a 10% discount on your first order!
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