The Determinant of Vitamin D Adequacy in Fishermen

Keywords: Fishermen, vitamin D, fish, sunshine


Background: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in both developed and developing countries are 30% - 75% with increased risk reported among women, elderly, obese individuals and those with low sun exposure. Fisherman has been acknowledged as an occupation with high sun exposure. However, a previous study showed that 4 in 5 fishermen were vitamin D deficient. The objective of this study is to investigate vitamin D intake and sun exposure among fishermen.

Method: This cross-sectional study recruited fishermen residing in the working area of several public health centres in Mataram and West Lombok districts. The subjects were classified as fishermen and non-fishermen. Vitamin D intake and sun exposure were the the main variables.

Results: One in two fishermen and three in four non-fishermen exhibited low intake of vitamin D. Fish intake in the fisherman and the non-fisherman groups were 937 gram per week and 652 gram per week, respectively. The most consumed fish was tuna. Fish intake of 937 gram per week was equivalent to ~12 µg vitamin D intake and 23.6 nmol/L vitamin D concentration. The majority of subjects were unable to achieve the optimal UVB radiation.     

Conclusion: Insufficient vitamin D intake and limited sun exposure are prevalent in fisherman and non-fisherman groups. 

Author Biographies

Deasy Irawati, Universitas Mataram

Ilmu Kesehatan Masyarat, Fakultas Kedokteran, Universitas Mataram, Indonesia

Ardiana Ekawanti, Universitas Mataram

Biokimia, Fakultas Kedokteran, Universitas Mataram, Indonesia

Lina Nurbaiti, Universitas Mataram

Ilmu Kesehatan Masyarat, Fakultas Kedokteran, Universitas Mataram, Indonesia


1. Holick MF. Vitamin D Deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007;357(3):266-81.
2. Holick MF. Evidence-based D-bate on health benefits of vitamin D revisited. Dermato-endocrinology. 2012;4(2):183-90.
3. Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(4):1080S-6S.
4. Wang TJ, Pencina MJ, Booth SL, Jacques PF, Ingelsson E, Lanier K, et al. Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2008;117(4):503-11.
5. Poh BK, Rojroongwasinkul N, Nguyen BK, Sandjaja, Ruzita AT, Yamborisut U, et al. 25-hydroxy-vitamin D demography and the risk of vitamin D insufficiency in the South East Asian Nutrition Surveys (SEANUTS). Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2016;25(3):538-48.
6. Ginde AA, Liu MC, Camargo CA. Demographic Differences and Trends of Vitamin D Insufficiency in the US Population, 1988-2004. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(6):626-32.
7. Daly R, Gagnon C, Lu Z, Magliano D, Dunstan D, Sikaris K, et al. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its determinants in Australian adults aged 25 years and older: a national, population based study. Clinical Endocrinology. 2012;77(1):26-35.
8. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The "sunshine" vitamin. Journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics. 2012 Apr-Jun;3(2):118-26.
9. Sahota O. Understanding vitamin D deficiency. Age and Ageing. 2014;43(5):589-91.
10. NTB DKdPP. Buku Profil Kelautan dan Perikanan Provinsi NTB Tahun 2019. Mataram: Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan Provinsi NTB; 2019.
11. Rahmasari L. Pengaruh jarak tempuh melaut, lama bekerja dan teknologi terhadap pendapatan nelayan. Jurnal Saintek Maritim. 2017;16(2):163-74.
12. Rimahardika R, Subagio H, Wijayanti H. Asupan vitamin D dan paparan sinar matahari pada orang yang bekerja di dalam ruangan dan di luar ruangan. Journal of Nutrition College. 2017;6(4):333-42.
13. Lee D-H, Park KS, Cho M-C. Laboratory confirmation of the effect of occupational sun exposure on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. Medicine. 2018;97(27):e11419-e.
14. WHO. Physical status : the use of and interpretation of anthropometry , report of a WHO expert committee. Geneva; 1995.
15. Barger-Lux MJ, Heaney RP. Effects of Above Average Summer Sun Exposure on Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Calcium Absorption. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2002 11/26/2019;87(11):4952-6.
16. Lamberg-Allardt C. Vitamin D in foods and as supplements. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 2006;92(1):33-8.
17. USDA. Nutrient Data Laboratory. US Department of Agriculture; 2016 [updated 2016; cited 2019 30 May 2019]; Available from:
18. Cashman KD, Wallace JMW, Horigan G, Hill TR, Barnes MS, Lucey AJ, et al. Estimation of the dietary requirement for vitamin D in free-living adults ? 64 y of age. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009 11/28/2019;89(5):1366-74.
19. Lehmann U, Gjessing HR, Hirche F, Mueller-Belecke A, Gudbrandsen OA, Ueland PM, et al. Efficacy of fish intake on vitamin D status: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2015 Oct;102(4):837-47 doi: 103945/ajcn114105395 Epub 2015 Sep 9. 2015.
20. Brock KE, Ke L, Tseng M, Clemson L, Koo FK, Jang H, et al. Vitamin D status is associated with sun exposure, vitamin D and calcium intake, acculturation and attitudes in immigrant East Asian women living in Sydney. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Jul;136:214-7.
21. Chen TC, Lu Z, Holick MF. Photobiology of Vitamin D. Vitamin D: Physiology, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Applications. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press; 2010. p. 35-60.
22. Holick MF. Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 12/2/2019;79(3):362-71.
23. Webb AR, Kline L, Holick MF. Influence of season and latitude on the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D3: exposure to winter sunlight in Boston and Edmonton will not promote vitamin D3 synthesis in human skin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Aug;67(2):373-8.
24. Judistiani RTD, Nirmala SA, Rahmawati M, Ghrahani R, Natalia YA, Sugianli AK, et al. Optimizing ultraviolet B radiation exposure to prevent vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women in the tropical zone: report from cohort study on vitamin D status and its impact during pregnancy in Indonesia. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2019;19(1):209-.
25. Setiati S. Vitamin D status among Indonesian elderly women living in institutionalized care units. Acta Med Indones. 2008 Apr;40(2):78-83.