Recent research reveals that vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked to increased death in adults and is particularly associated with diabetes-related deaths. These findings are especially worrisome for black people who are disproportionately affected by vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine” vitamin because it can be made in the skin after exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is primarily attributed to lifestyle and environmental factors that reduce exposure to sunlight.
However, black people are at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency because of pigmentation. Dark skin tone can reduce vitamin D production in the skin by over 90 percent. There is also evidence that links vitamin D deficiency to reduced insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?