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Black Adolescents In Sunny Climates At Greatest Risk For Vitamin D Deficiency

June 6, 2010: 04:03 AM EST
In a study of 559 male and female adolescents, 45 percent of whom were black and 55 percent white, U.S. scientists found that those who lived in a year-round sunny climate – particularly black youths – had the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood, putting them at the greatest risk for health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency. Levels of circulating vitamin D among black adolescents were about half that of whites at any time of the year. The researchers also found a consistent inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and obesity, although further study is needed to determine exactly what the relationship is. The key factor, researchers said, was skin pigmentation, which is associated with “reduced skin synthesis of vitamin D …”
Yanbin Dong, Norman Pollock, et al. , "Low 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Adolescents: Race, Season, Adiposity, Physical Activity, and Fitness", Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, June 06, 2010, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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