-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Older black women who need
vitamin D supplements don't need more to take more than white
women, a new study concludes.
Although black women produce less vitamin D in their skin with
sun exposure, researchers found that black and white women absorb
and metabolize the vitamin at the same rate.
The study will be published in the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"African-American women don't have to worry about taking larger doses of vitamin D to compensate," said study lead author Dr. J. Chris Gallagher, of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, in a journal news release. "They should follow the current medical guidelines for vitamin D supplementation suggested recently by the Institute of Medicine."
In conducting the double-blind study, the researchers gave older
black and white women of similar body types various doses of
vitamin D. Although women with darker skin tend to have lower
levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25OHD, an indicator used to
measure vitamin D levels, black and white women had similar
responses to their supplements.
The researchers concluded that black women struggling with a
vitamin D deficiency should received the same dose as white women
to treat their condition.
The body's primary source of vitamin D is sunlight -- not food,
the release noted. People who are deficient in vitamin D can
develop abnormalities in calcium, phosphorus and bone metabolism.
Children suffering from a lack of vitamin D could develop rickets
or a bone-softening condition called osteomalacia. Adults with a
vitamin D deficiency may experience muscle weakness.
Visit the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements to learn more about
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