Northwestern University Study Finds Vitamin D Deficiency in Black Men

A new study by researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago finds that African-American men are 3.5 times as likely as white men to have vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to diseases such as prostate cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Adam Murphy, a clinical instructor in urology at Northwestern, states that “it takes a dark-skinned male 90 minutes three times a week to absorb enough sunlight to produce the recommended amount of vitamin D compared to 15 minutes three times a week for a Caucasian male. He recommends that African Americans take high levels of vitamin D supplements.

Dr. Murphy, who completed his medical training at the University of Chicago, presented the research at a recent conference of the American Association of Cancer Researchers in Washington.

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  1. While the melanin in the skin of persons of African descent protects them in relation to skin cancer, it keeps out much of the vitamin D that is absorbed from sunlight and that is necessary for good health. The effects of vitamin D deficiency are beginning to be more thoroughly studied. It is possible to supplement this vitamin.

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