-- Randy Dotinga
FRIDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- People's bodies build up
vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, But a new study suggests
black men who live in areas of the United States with low sunlight
are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency than whites who live
in the same places.
The researchers say the findings show that current vitamin D
recommendations need to change. "This study shows that
across-the-board vitamin D recommendations just won't work for
everybody," said study researcher Dr. Adam B. Murphy, clinical
instructor in the department of urology at Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine, in an American Association for Cancer
Research news release.
"With so many diseases linked to low levels of vitamin D, we should have more stratified recommendations to consider groups within the population instead of making monolithic suggestions," he said.
The researchers studied vitamin D levels in 492 men aged 40 to
79 who live in Chicago, an area of the country that gets a low
level of ultraviolet radiation. More than 90 percent of black men
were deficient compared to 69.7 percent of white men.
Murphy said the skin of black men reacts differently than that
of white men to the sun, explaining why their bodies may produce
less vitamin D.
Deficiencies of the vitamin put people at higher risk of
diseases like prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid
arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
"Because we have a lot of special populations in the United States -- people who have darker skin, people who cover their skin for religious reasons and people who live in poor sunlight environments -- there shouldn't be uniform vitamin D recommendations for the entire population," Murphy said.
The study was scheduled to be released this week at the American
Association for Cancer Research Conference on The Science of Cancer
Health Disparities, in Washington D.C.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
For more on
vitamin D, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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