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Dark-Skinned Women Need Vitamin D Too

Women with darker skin tones produce less vitamin D in the skin after exposure to sunlight and as such have lower levels of 2-OHD (25-hydroxyvitamin D), a biomarker used in measuring vitamin D levels.  The recent study showed that older African-American women who are suffering deficiency in vitamin D need the same doses as Caucasian women to cure the condition.

In the study, varying doses of vitamin D were given to African-American and Caucasian women with similar levels of 25OHD biomarker and body size. Results of the study showed that both groups have the same metabolism and absorption of vitamin D.

According to lead author J. Chris Gallagher, MD, the African-American women should follow the current medical guidelines for supplementation of vitamin D that was recently suggested by the Institute of Medicine. Gallagher added that there is a need to study the maximum dosage of vitamin D that African-American women can take as well as help their health care professionals to make informed medical decisions.

The body’s main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Hence, inadequate exposure to sunlight combined with very poor diet can lead to vitamin D deficiency thereby resulting to abnormalities in calcium, phosphorus and bone metabolism which can then lead to rickets or bone softening disorder in children and bone weakness in adults. However, concerns about skin cancer such as melanoma and other types may necessitate avoidance from excessive sun exposure.

The study was published in the the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).


Endocrine Society. African-American, Caucasian women should take identical vitamin d doses, study says. ScienceDaily.


Posted in: News Briefs, Vitamin D, Women's Health

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