Vitamin D Deficiency Puts Blacks At Risk For Heart Disease

A pile of different types of vitamins

( — A common but frequently overlooked nutrient deficiency could be putting African-Americans at greater risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to the National Research Journal, nearly 82 percent of African-Americans face vitamin D deficiency – that’s more than twice the national average. Low vitamin D levels are associated with arterial stiffness, which is a known risk factor for both heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death among African-Americans.

Why? For one, pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin. Second, as many as three in four African-Americans are lactose intolerant, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which may lead to reduced consumption of vitamin D-fortified dairy products.

Unfortunately, taking extra supplements alone is not the answer, since taking more than 4,000 IU a day puts you at risk for vitamin D toxicity.