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Many U.S. Black Men Short On Vitamin D

September 22, 2011 by  

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) — Black men living in U.S. areas where there is low sunlight are more than three times more likely than white men to have vitamin D deficiency, researchers say.

Dr. Adam Murphy, a clinical instructor in urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School in Chicago and a physician at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, said vitamin D deficiency causes brittle bones and has been linked to prostate cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

In African-American men, the increased melanin in darker skin blocks the ultraviolet rays necessary for the body to produce the vitamin and it might require as much as six times more sun exposure than Caucasian men need to produce adequate vitamin D levels.

The Institute of Medicine recommends adults and children take 600 International Units of vitamin D daily, but Murphy said that’s way too low.

African-American men living in Chicago would need to take nearly 2,500 International Units of vitamin D to reach normal, healthy levels, Murphy said.

“It takes a dark-skinned male like myself 90 minutes three times a week to absorb enough sunlight to produce the recommended amount of vitamin D compared to just 15 minutes three times a week for a Caucasian male,” he said.

The degrees to which African-American men need to increase their vitamin D supplementation likely varies depending on how sunny the area is and how long people spend outside.

The findings were presented at the American Association of Cancer Researchers Health Disparities Conference in Washington.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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  • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    I HAVE NO REASON OR EXPERTISE TO DOUBT THIS ARTICLE, BUT, IN REFERENCE TO BRITTLE BONES, I DO NOT HEAR ABOUT OLDER-NEGRO MALES FALLING. I FREQUENTLY HEAR ABOUT OLDER-NEGRO FEMALES FALLING. MY MATERNAL GRANDFATHER WAS THE ONLY NEGRO MALE I HAVE HEARD OF WHO HAS FALLEN.

    IN REFERENCE TO RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, I HAVE FEMALE RELATIVES WHO HAVE GREATLY SUFFERED. MY SISTER – WHO IS NOW, FIFTY-ONE – HAD A STROKE AT AGE TWENTY BECAUSE OF ARTHRITIS. I HAVE AN ARTHRITIC-RIGHT HAND AND FEET; BUT, NONE OF MY MALE RELATIVES SUFFER FROM ARTHRITIS.

    OF COURSE, I LIVE IN THE SOUTH; BUT, I KNOW SEVERAL NEGROES WHO WERE BORN IN MISSISSIPPI AND NOW LIVE IN CHICAGO. I HAVE NOT HEARD OF ANY NEGRO MALES UP THERE WITH THESE PROBLEMS.

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