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Does Your Race Affect Your Vitamin D Level?

We already know that our skin color has a big impact on how the sun affects us.

Light-skinned people, for example, tend to tan better (or worse, depending on who you’re asking) than darker-skinned people. At the same time, light-skinned people also tend to develop skin cancer more than their darker-skinned counterparts.

It seems like that’s not the only thing that your skin tone affects. According to a study published in the journal Osteoporosis International, your vitamin D level may also be affected by your skin tone, specifically your race.

Races with the lowest level of vitamin D

In the study, it was revealed that African-Americans and Mexican-Americans actually have the lowest natural level of vitamin D.

The study says that this is mainly because of the increased pigmentation or melanin in their skin inhibiting the skin production of cholecalciferol, also known as the type of vitamin D produced by our skin when exposed to the sun.

Do naturally low vitamin D levels lead to vitamin D deficiency?

Although the study may also seem to imply that having lower levels to vitamin D automatically leads to vitamin D deficiency, this isn’t entirely true.

White Americans and Mexican Americans actually rank the highest in terms of vitamin D deficiency, even though African-Americans have some of the lowest levels of vitamin D as well. In fact, African-Americans tend to have greater bone mass and higher levels of calcium than White Americans, in which vitamin D is needed to maintain.

The conclusion is that race may actually have an effect on the vitamin D levels, but given the paradox presented by African-Americans, more definitive proof must be found first.

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