In 1988-1994, the researchers examined 1546 African American women and 1426 white women aged 15 to 49 years, none of whom were pregnant. Hypovitaminosis D was 10 times more prevalent in African American (42%) than in white women (4%). Every determinant of vitamin D status contributed in some part to the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in the African American women, including urban residence, increased skin melanin with low rates of casual sunlight exposure, and low consumption of fortified milk and cereal. Even 10-30% African American women who consumed adequate intakes of vitamin D from supplements had hypovitaminosis D, indicating that the standard 200-400 IU/day found in most vitamin supplements may be inadequate for these women.
According to an accompanying editorial by Holick, adequate vitamin D may also decrease the risk of developing some cancers, type 1 diabetes, and possibly multiple sclerosis. He suggests that in the absence of adequate exposure to sunlight, the recommended daily dosage of vitamin D should be raised to ¡Ý800-1,000 IU/day for people of all ages.
Nesby-O'Dell, Shanna et al. Hypovitaminosis D prevalence and determinants among African American and white women of reproductive age: third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:187-92.
Holick, Michael F. Too little vitamin D in premenopausal women: why should we care? Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:3-4.
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