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D.iet & H.ealth : N.utrition Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00

Young African-Americans' Low Vitamin D Levels Reported
Jul 22, 2006, 13:23

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African-American teenagers tested in a recent study had a greater incidence of low vitamin D levels than participants in several earlier investigations. University and Agricultural Research Service nutrition experts reported that finding in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (volume 83, pages 1135 to 1141).

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones. Good sources include vitamin D-fortified milk and juices as well as fatty fish, and sunshine--which converts a natural chemical in skin into vitamin D.

At sites in 14 American cities, the scientists examined levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in the blood (plasma) of 359 volunteers, predominantly African-American females aged 15 to 19. This form of the vitamin is a good indicator of total vitamin D stores. The researchers found that 87 percent of the volunteers--an unexpectedly high number--had an insufficient amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in their plasma.

For details contact: Charles B. Stephensen, (530) 754-9266; USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Davis, Calif. email:

Source: USDA-ARS

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