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Vitamin D testing may be particularly important for certain minority groups, as a new study has found that African American men living in areas of low sunlight are up to 3.5 times more likely to experience a deficiency of the nutrient.
The Northwestern University researchers who conducted the study said their findings indicate that African Americans living in these areas of the country should consider taking nutritional supplements to boost their levels of vitamin D. Additionally, recommendations from national organizations should take into consideration the results of the investigation.
"This study shows that the current one-size fits all recommendations for 600 International Units (IU) of vitamin D don't work," said Adam Murphy, who led the investigation. "Skin color and sunlight exposure need to be considered for recommended daily allowances of vitamin D."
He explained that individuals with darker skin colors have higher levels of a pigment known as melanin. This blocks more of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which are needed by the body to produce vitamin D naturally. When this source of the nutrient is taken away, nutritional supplements may become necessary.
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