Vitamin D recommendations—one dose doesn’t fit all

Doctors said that recommendations to prevent vitamin D deficiency should consider physical and environmental factors.

In one study, researchers measured vitamin D levels in 492 men aged 40 to 79, living in Chicago, a low-sunlight region. They found that 93 percent of African American men and 70 percent of European American men were deficient, with levels below 30 ng/mL.

Doctors said that the melanin in dark skin blocks ultraviolet rays, reducing the amount of vitamin D the body can produce from sunlight. Because there are many special populations in the U.S., those with darker skin, those who customarily cover their skin, and those who live in low-sunlight areas, the government should provide more than one recommendation for the proper dietary level of vitamin D, researchers concluded.

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