The Dangers of Inadequate Vitamin D
New research has shown a significant link between vitamin D status and the risk of advanced kidney disease. In a recent study, individuals with the lowest level of vitamin D were 2.6 times more likely to need kidney dialysis than those with the highest levels. Vitamin D is produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight. During the winter months, many individuals become Vitamin D deficient because of increased time spent indoors. However, African American individuals are at greater risk due to skin pigmentation levels, which cause poor absorption of the naturally occurring Vitamin D produced by our bodies from exposure to sunlight. Because of this, African-Americans typically have a significantly lower incidence of Vitamin D deficiencies than the rest of the population. Not long ago, I blogged about the amazing benefits of Vitamin D here. USANA’s Vitamin D supplement is formulated with maximum strength vitamin D to ensure you get the vitamin D you need throughout the winter months in one tablet! Whatever you are doing- Be safe, healthy, and have fun!
With Thanks to USANA…
Kidney failure is more common in African Americans than in Caucasians. This disparity is generally attributable to a greater prevalence of hypertension and diabetes in this population. In the December 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, researchers report a strong association between end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in African Americans and reduced vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiencies are more common in this group compared to Caucasians due to increased skin pigmentation, which results in reduced vitamin D synthesis from sun exposure. Deficiencies in vitamin D (defined as <15 ng/ml) were found in 34% of African Americans compared to 5% of non-Hispanic Caucasians. Researchers also discovered that individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels were 2.6 times as likely to end up on dialysis compared to those with the highest levels. The researchers determined that vitamin D was responsible for about 58% of the excess risk for renal disease experienced by African Americans. Follow-up research is needed to confirm the results, but this study adds to previous evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to the progression of kidney disease and the resulting need for dialysis. It also explains a good portion of the increased risk of ESRD in African Americans. J Am Soc Nephrol 20: 2631-2639, 2009
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