Navigation Links
Minority Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Date:3/29/2010

Low levels can lead to serious health problems, experts say

MONDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem around the world, experts say, and the problem may be especially severe in the United States among poor black and Hispanic children, researchers report.

In fact, about 74 percent of these children had less than optimal vitamin D levels, the study found.

"This is one of many studies pointing to the critical need for both children and adults to take supplemental vitamin D," said Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist from Connecticut who was not involved in the study. "Recent research has demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is common in children and adolescents in the U.S."

The study "highlights the need for special attention to be paid to low-income children and minorities," she said. "Their vitamin D levels need to be checked regularly."

"All in all, it would seem reasonable -- in fact, urgent -- to recommend vitamin D supplementation for children," Heller said.

Another expert agreed.

Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University Medical Center called the findings, "no surprise at all."

Holick noted that across the United States, up to 70 percent of children aren't getting enough vitamin D.

"African American and Hispanic children are at especially high risk," he said, because darker skin acts like a natural sunscreen. The ability to make vitamin D is reduced from 80 to 99 percent in darker skin, Holick said.

Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and other important metabolic functions, and she said that low levels in children can lead to health problems, including later in life. Experts currently recommend intakes of between 200 to 400 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D.

"Low vitamin D levels in U.S. adolescents are strongly associated with hypertension and hyperglycemia and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to type 2 diabetes," Heller said. "Parents must be informed of the need for vitamin D in children and the consequences of low vitamin D levels.

"Vitamin D is not in many foods," she said. "Foods fortified with vitamin D include ready-to-eat cereals, milk and some yogurts. Vitamin D is naturally found in fish such as salmon."

For the study, published online March 29 in Pediatrics, a research team led by Dr. Conrad R. Cole, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, looked at vitamin D levels in 290 Hispanic and black children from mainly low-income families in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The children averaged 2½ years old.

Earlier studies have found low vitamin D levels among children in northern climes, and the researchers wrote that they wanted to see whether the condition existed among children in the sunnier southern U.S. as well.

They found that about 22 percent of the children had low levels of vitamin D3, 74 percent had less-than-optimal levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and about 1 percent had low levels of calcium.

The greatest vitamin D deficiency was among black children, with 26 percent affected, compared with 18 percent of Hispanic children, the researchers noted.

Age was also a factor in vitamin D deficiency, Cole's group found, with older children less likely to have vitamin D deficiency. In addition, children who enrolled in the study in the spring and summer were also less likely to be vitamin D deficient, reducing the problem by about 20 percent.

More Hispanic than black children drank milk fortified with vitamin D, which provided 62 percent of the children's vitamin D intake, the study found.

"Children with suboptimal vitamin D status are at increased risk for bone disease, infections and other diseases," Cole said. "Parents should be educated about the importance of vitamin D and the source of vitamin D -- sunlight and fortified food sources. Minority low-income children who are at risk should be screened during the fall and winter."

And the findings point out that "vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon in the southern U.S.," he said.

More information

The U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements has more on vitamin D.



SOURCES: Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, Fairfield, Conn.; Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D., professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University Medical Center; Conrad R. Cole, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; March 29, 2010, Pediatrics, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Mike Lucas of GE Healthcare Recognized as the Lifeline for Minority Businesses; Receives the MMBDC 2009 Presidents Award
2. National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities awards $8 million to Weill Cornell
3. Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not
4. Cancer survival disparities for most minority populations increase as cancers become more treatable
5. Parent mentors can improve the asthmatic care of minority children, UT Southwestern researchers find
6. Minority elders continue to face health care, employment disparities
7. 2010 recipient of Minority Scholar Award will conduct clinical research on leukemia
8. 2010 Recipient of Minority Scholar Award Will Conduct Clinical Research on Leukemia
9. Hepatitis C treatment less effective in urban minority patients
10. Medical schools partner to tackle barriers to minority participation in cancer clinical trials
11. Inequities exists in disease burden, health care and access for minority children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Healthcare companies are trying to ... rapidly reject an outdated healthcare executive resume. , “If you’re a healthcare executive open ... resume and wondering if it’s as ready as you are for a new job ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... named the 2017 North American CAREGiverSM of the Year for her extraordinary compassion ... one of its 60,000 North American professional caregivers for the prestigious award each ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... Offering the purest product of its kind, Swissx Labs ... more potent than the market has seen before. Swissx uses proprietary strains of hemp ... patented chromatography process for extraction, to produce its CBD oil--maximizing its benefits for health ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Jump Technologies, Inc., ... announced it has completed a round of funding to accelerate its growth strategies. ... Black Granite Capital is a growth equity firm focused on investments in healthcare ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... , ... April 26, 2017 ... ... is thrilled to announce the ATA 2017 President’s Awards recipients, comprised of ... demonstrated superior healthcare delivery. , The ATA 2017 President’s Awards recognize ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... today announced that it will be participating in the ... the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts ... present at 11:20 a.m. Eastern Time. A ... Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com .  ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 2017   ZappRx, Inc ., a digital health company ... today announced it closed $25 million in Series B funding ... based in Seattle that is part ... The Series B round included participation from SR One ... GV (formerly Google Ventures). As part of the ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Manufacturing Services Market Analysis By Service (Manufacturing, Research), By Country, ... - 2025" report to their offering. ... The Latin American pharmaceutical contract manufacturing ... 2025 Low drug registration cost in Latin American ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: