NWU Feinberg Logo Vitamin D could be an essential nutrient to promote bone health. As per a study conducted by analysts from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, African-American men residing in places with less sunlight may face 3 and a half folds greater chance of having vitamin D deficiency as compared to Caucasian men. They are therefore recommended to take higher proportions of Vitamin D supplements.

The reason for the aforesaid individuals to have less vitamin D is probably because darker skin constitutes excessive melanin that impedes the UV rays required for the production of vitamins by the body. This necessitates them to expose themselves to 6 times more sunlight than Caucasian men.

Adam Murphy, MD, instructor in the Department of Urology at Feinberg remarked, “This study shows that the current one-size fits all recommendations for 600 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D don’t work. Skin color and sunlight exposure need to be considered for recommended daily allowances of Vitamin D.”

As part of the analysis, blood samples were gathered from 492 men in the age-group 40 to 79 from 3 Chicago urology clinics and other factors like BMI, melanin content, sunlight exposure and Vitamin D intake were examined. The outcomes showed that 63 % of African-American men apparently had lower levels of vitamin D compared to 18 percent Caucasian men having adequate amount of vitamin D. The Institute of Medicine advices 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) intake of Vitamin D for all. Considering 30 ng/ml to be the norm, 93% of African-American men seemingly showed Vitamin D deficiency relative to 69.7% of Caucasian men.

The scientists also found that African-American men seemed to generally have 17.2 ng/ml of Vitamin D which is not the right proportion as per experts. Murphy believes that when amounts of Vitamin D are less than 20, the bones supposedly become brittle any may also lead to rickets in children. Murphy suggests African-American men in Chicago to take almost 2,500 IU’s of Vitamin D to reach the right and healthy limits.

Trials to gauge Vitamin D levels in Hispanic and men from Asia are underway.