The Endocrine SocietyVitamin D achieved by exposing oneself to sunlight can also be gained from milk, cereals and cod liver oil. A recent study suggests vitamin D deficiency is related to arterial stiffness that is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, in black teens. It was revealed that black teens receiving vitamin D supplementation of 2,000 international units (IU) every day had a reduction in central arterial stiffness.

The study was commenced on 44 black teenagers, both male and female. These participants were randomly provided with 400 IU of vitamin D daily as per the recommendation of American Academy of Pediatrics. Others were given 2,000 IU of vitamin D each day. The scientists suggested that participants receiving 400 IU of vitamin D per day were lacking vitamin D, but study subjects provided with 2,000 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis seemed to be vitamin D sufficient.

“While we think of the sun as providing humans with most of our body’s requirement of vitamin D, 95 percent of the 44 black teenagers living in sunny Georgia who took part in this study were classified as vitamin D deficient. Our study shows that vitamin D supplementation may improve cardiovascular health in black teens who don’t get enough vitamin D from their diet and sun exposure,” enlightenedYanbin Dong, MD, PhD, of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and lead author of the study.

Arterial stiffness of all the teens was measured by employing pulse wave velocity (PWV). The procedure is believed to be non-invasive wherein a pulse is diffused at two arterial sites. After examining the transit time and distance traveled by the pulses, scientists were apparently able to measure arterial stiffness.

Dong commented, “Our study is the first clinical trial of vitamin D intervention to use 2,000 IU in black subjects and to include cardiovascular risk factors as outcomes in youth. Our study indicates that the current recommendations for vitamin D intake in black teenagers may need to be revised upward.”

On completion of the study, it was concluded that vitamin D guards vascular systems. The experts also mentioned that sufficient amounts of vitamin D can bring about positive alterations in the arterial system and in cardiovascular function in general.

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