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New research explores why vitamin D deficiency is common in U.S. minorities

Posted on: August 19, 2014   by  Amber Tovey

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A new study published in Public Health Nutrition determined the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, the exposure time needed in the sun to produce vitamin D, and, lastly, the effects of the UV index on vitamin D production among U.S. minorities.

As people migrate to northern latitudes, the UV index decreases, and therefore, vitamin D production decreases as well. Minorities with darker skin in the U.S. are at a greater risk for vitamin D deficiency, because of the high latitude and reduced ultraviolet-B radiation that their bodies are not adapted to.

The United States is a large country with varying latitudes and ultraviolet radiation. Furthermore, years of migration has led to diverse ethnic groups who come from regions of varying latitudes. Vitamin D status and risks for deficiency need to be specifically addressed in each of these groups in order to help them to maintain sufficient vitamin D status and optimal health.

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