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African Americans who are undergoing treatment for cancer may want to consider seeking blood testing to measure vitamin D levels. A new paper suggests that low levels of the nutrient in this group may account for high cancer-related mortality rates.
There is a substantial amount of evidence indicating that African Americans who are diagnosed with cancer are more likely to die from the condition than Caucasians with similar types of tumors. There is also data showing that African Americans tend to have lower vitamin D levels than whites.
Experts from the Sunlight Nutrition and Health Research Center wrote in the latest issue of the journal Dermato-Endocrinology that these two phenomena are likely linked. Numerous studies have connected high vitamin D levels to favorable cancer treatment outcomes. This is true for a number of different forms of cancer.
"Raising vitamin D concentrations to 40 nanograms per milliliter [of blood] by taking 1,000 to 4,000 international units [of] vitamin D3 supplements is the easiest thing African Americans can do to reduce the heavy burden of cancer they experience," said lead researcher William Grant.
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