Vitamin D supplementation should not be given in same doses to everyone, researchers suggest.  According to Dr. Murphy, Dr. Kittles, and Dr. Manson,  African-Americans who live in areas with low sunlight is more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency than European-Americans living in the same environment.  For instance, from 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels in 492 men, age 40 to 79 from Chicago and Illinois, researchers found that 93% of African-American and 69.7% of European-American men had deficiency in vitamin D.

Although vitamin D deficiency is mostly linked to low sunlight exposure, it was found that even those African-Americans who live in sunny areas also had lower levels of vitamin D.  However, it is important to mention that vitamin D deficiency can be seen not only in African-American men, but also in people with lower incomes and higher body mass indexes.

Dr. Murphy associated this deficiency to higher levels of melanin pigment in the skin whose primary function is to prevent the absorption of the ultraviolet radiation, which leads to the reduction of vitamin D.  Considering that more percentage of African-Americans are vitamin D deficient than European-Americans, Dr. Kittles insists that the general population should intake 1000 and 3000 IU a day.  Since, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many ailments, such as, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, which researchers believe that the amount of intake should be regulated to reflect the differences between African-Americans and European-Americans.

Race and Geography Should Inform Vitamin D Intake

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3 responses

  1. lipy says:

    From this post, I have understood that African Americans are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency compared to European-Americans living in the same area and that people with low incomes are also more vitamin D deficient. But I still am unclear as to why that is the case? Are they not exposed to enough sunlight and do they not intake the required amounts through food? I would like to read more about this topic, but the bottom Race and Geography Should Inform Vitamin D Intake link directs me to a different window that prompts me to log in or register.

  2. Yes, unfortunately in order to be able to read the whole article, you need to register. But it’s free and there are many useful-scientific news.

    Also, read the second and third paragraph again. I wrote the reason of why it is seen mostly in African-Americans and less in European-Americans. Additionally, I think we should consider the financial situation and ask the question, can those people who have vitamin D deficiency afford themselves a good health care? or even a food? And if African-Americans’ are protected from extra UV sunlight exposure, then according to researchers, they not getting enough vitamin D. Which leads us to another thought and connects to the question that I asked above, can those people who have vitamin D deficiency afford themselves a good health care? or even a food?

  3. Professor Pok says:

    Here’s a link to the referenced article that does not require a login: http://www.ednf.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2155