Thursday, March 5, 2009

Many teens may be vitamin D deficient, study suggests.

HealthDay (3/4, Reinberg) reported, "Many teens today...aren't getting enough of vitamin D, the so-called sunshine vitamin that is essential for cells to function, say researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College," who "collected data on 2,955 youths, 12 to 19 years old." They discovered that "overall, 14 percent of adolescents in the study were vitamin D deficient," and the number of girls who were deficient "was more than double that of boys. In addition, twice as many obese teens were vitamin D deficient as normal-weight teens." Most glaring, however, was the fact that "black teens were 20 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than white teens." The authors attribute their findings to "several factors," including the "use of sunscreen and skin color." According to the study published in the March 3 issue of Pediatrics, black teens "take in less of the sun's rays than whites, causing less vitamin D production."

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