The End - 2000 to 2009

Sisters need more sunlight for their skin

Some Muslim women may need to get a few seconds of the sun daily or else they may become deficient in vitamin D. This article was well written and very respectful, alhamdulillah. Check it out and share with your mothers, sisters, wives, aunties, daughters, etc.

The solution is pretty simple. Just go by the window when the sun is shining. 😀 Some houses have nice skylights, this is where that can come in handy.
Edit: Many comments have suggested standing next to a glass window will not help, so hopefully the window is open and the sunlight comes through the mesh.

Does modest dress among Arab-American women promote vitamin D deficiency?

By Jordan Lite | Scientific American

Vitamin D is the vitamin du jour these days, with many doctors urging more sun exposure following years of campaigns advising us to cover up and use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Many of us, especially in cloudier areas, don’t get enough of the sunshine vitamin. The elderly and post-menopausal women are more at risk for deficiency, as are those who live in northern climes.

But today comes news that one group seems to be at particular risk, doctors report in the journal Endocrine Practice. Arab-American women who wore the hijab (a Koran-derived dress code that includes a scarf or veil over their hair and modest dress) and didn’t get enough vitamin D through their diet had half the levels of the vitamin of those who didn’t adhere as closely to the dress code. There was no difference in rates of health problems linked to vitamin D deficiency, such as bone or joint pain or breaks, or muscle weakness. The study involved 87 women in Dearborn, Mich., which has a large Arab population.

The more conservatively the women dressed, the lower their vitamin D; those who wore the hijab but ate vitamin D-rich foods such as milk or oily fish had higher levels, though not as high as the women who didn’t adhere to hijab. A measure of 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood is considered sufficient; the most conservatively dressed women in the study had levels as low as 4.5, but even those who didn’t wear the hijab and got some vitamin D in their diets had an average level of 8.5 — “and that’s still low,” says co-author Raymond Hobbs, a senior staff physician Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“We’re not trying to get anyone to take off their hijab,” Hobbs tells ScientificAmerican.com, but “to do things to prevent problems that might arise” from the tradition. The vitamin was once thought to be necessary only to prevent rickets (soft bones) in childhood and osteoporosis later on, but now, vitamin D deficiency is associated with diabetes, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and infections.

The study isn’t the first to link style of dress to vitamin D deficiency, which affects an estimated 1 billion people around the world. A study published in Pediatrics in 2000 found that ultra-Orthodox Jewish children in Brooklyn who are covered up year-round in long sleeves and dresses were vitamin D deficient. Studies in sunny climes (including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Turkey, India, and Lebanon) where people may be covered up for religious or other reasons, also found that 30 percent to 50 percent of adults and kids were vitamin D-deficient, according to a 2007 review in the New England Journal of Medicine.

While heavy doses of vitamin D are available in supplements, the body manufacturers the most through sun exposure (admittedly in short supply in early spring in Michigan, when the study was done), Hobbs says. The vitamin naturally occurs in only a few foods, including mackerel, tuna, salmon and eggs, and it’s added to milk in the U.S. To get the recommended 1,000 International Units of vitamin D a day (or no more than 2,000), you’d have to drink 20 glasses of milk daily, or eat 80 eggs, Hobbs says. Spend a few minutes in the sunshine, though, and your body will make 10,000 to 20,000 units, he says.

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  • 13 Responses for "Sisters need more sunlight for their skin"

    1. The MV February 20th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      My Article sort of states the opposite, I dont understand, I thought there were health beneficents.

    2. MR February 20th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

      @The MV – It’s not against your article, but simply stating that the sunlight is good for the skin and that some Muslim women may be lacking in it due to their dress. The simple solution is just get some sunlight in their homes.

    3. TonyB February 20th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

      What folks dont realise is that Muslim women traditionaly had courtyards and private open-spaces where they would go and not wear Hijab and covering and enjoy the sun. These days none of these private recreational grounds are set for women. Not even in the way houses are built.

    4. iMuslim February 20th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

      “There was no difference in rates of health problems linked to vitamin D deficiency, such as bone or joint pain or breaks, or muscle weakness.”

      So even though hijabis were more likely to be Vitamin D deficient, it didn’t seem to affect their health? Okay…

      Btw, I am not sure standing next to the window will help. I think the person needs direct contact with sunlight, because Vit D production in the skin depends on UVB, which would be blocked out by the glass.

    5. M. Landers February 20th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

      “Btw, I am not sure standing next to the window will help. I think the person needs direct contact with sunlight, because Vit D production in the skin depends on UVB, which would be blocked out by the glass.”

      Yes — light through a window pane is ineffective; an important point for anyone, muslim or not, who gets more of their sunlight exposure while indoors.

    6. anon February 20th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

      http://muslimahmediawatch.org/2009/02/18/oh-noes-hijab-will-make-you-sick/

    7. SM February 21st, 2009 at 3:17 am

      well fine then, I shall have my backyard fences built in a way where I can receive all the sunlight i want! :)

    8. Zaynab February 21st, 2009 at 11:51 am

      2 important things:
      1. “Arab-American women who wore the hijab and DIDN’T GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D THROUGH THEIR DIET”
      2. “those who wore the hijab but ate vitamin D-rich foods such as milk or oily fish had higher levels”

      So, eat more vitamin D rich foods!
      If you wear hijab, the solution is pretty simple…just go outside! lol your hands and face (some feet) are still showing so just get out there!

      If you wear niqab, pick up a multivitamin from the drug store :) It’s all good insha’Allah.

    9. Umm Layth February 21st, 2009 at 1:09 pm

      bismillah

      as salamu alaykum

      Nothing prevents women who veil their entire bodies from getting a few minutes of sun exposure every few days. There are ways.

    10. SistaR February 21st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

      ” just go outside! lol your hands and face (some feet) are still showing so just get out there!”

      LOL thats what i was thinking!

    11. Dawud Israel February 21st, 2009 at 7:51 pm

      There was an article here about how women who wear bukhas are prone to osteoporosis. It is important not to confuse this as prejudice as some may.

      Courtyards are a great idea…but to be honest, A LOT of people need sunlight now adays, especially cuz of being on computers so much.

    12. Nihal Khan February 22nd, 2009 at 4:48 pm

      I just read that link as “Muslim Ahmedia Watch” instead of “Muslimah Media Watch.” lol

    13. Kareem February 23rd, 2009 at 4:46 pm

      Hey just an FYI, but sitting by a window in the sun might not be an effective way to get vitamin D. The ultra violet light is converted to infrared when it passes through the pane of glass. That is why sitting in a sunlit room gets very very warm, warmer then if you just sit outside. Best of luck

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