Racial Differences Between Vitamin D Deficiencies

Low vitamin D affects fat levels

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Vitamin D is essential in every person’s diet. It can be obtained through different dairy products and foods, and is activated in the body by exposure to sunlight.

Researchers have found that children with vitamin D deficiency have higher levels of fat. There is also a difference in where the fat is in the body depending on race.

"10-15 minutes of sun 3 times a week is enough."

The University of Pittsburgh found a link between racial differences and vitamin D deficiency. It was shown that white children with vitamin D deficiency have more fat between their organs, while black children with the deficiency have more fat under their skin.

Low levels of vitamin D in adults and children may be playing a role in the increased rates of type 2 diabetes. The studies indicated for both black and white children, vitamin D is related to higher fat levels and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

More research needs to be done on the benefits of vitamin D in comparison with fat levels, lipid profile, and risk for type 2 diabetes.

The Study

  • The University of Pittsburgh studied racial differences in relation to vitamin D levels, body mass index (BMI), fat levels, fat distribution, and lipid levels
  • The study included 237 obese and non-obese children, age 8-18
  • Most participants were vitamin D deficient
  • Results indicated vitamin D was linked to higher fat levels and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in both black and white children
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 29, 2011
Last Updated:
May 2, 2011