Vitamin D and African Americans

Effects of Sunlight On African Americans
African Americans tend to be more likely to have a Vitamin D deficiency.  This is partly because the pigmentation of African Americans reduces Vitamin D production in the skin when skin is exposed to sunlight.  Those who have a low intake of Vitamin D through sunlight, food sources, and supplements have deficient Vitamin D levels. 

Vitamin D in Older Adults

There is some positive news for African Americans.  African Americans have lower rates of osteoporotic fractures.  For example, a 68-year-old black woman has a 4% chance of a hip fracture compared to an 11% chance in a 68-year-old white woman. 

Vitamin D and Diet 
Some of the deficiency also comes from lactose intolerance, limited consumption of milk and milk products. Limited diets that do not include fortified breakfast cereals may also have a deficiency.  Proper Vitamin D levels protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some other chronic conditions.  Adding a healthy diet of Vitamin D-rich foods and supplements can increase the level of  Vitamin D that African Americans need.



Sample Menu for Improving Vitamin D Levels

2 egg yolks, 2 pieces of bacon, and toast.  1 glass of Florida’s Natural orange juice for calcium benefits. (Calcium helps to make Vitamin D be absorbed by the body.


Fortified cereal (example Multi-Grain Cheerios) and fortified milk.


Chicken Breast, broccoli, and rice pilaf.


Salmon, string beans, and a baked potato.