Researchers have just announced findings that show the health benefits for African Americans to supplement their diet with Vitamin D. The study demonstrates that supplements of vitamin D reduces African Americans’ cardiovascular risk by improving the health of blood vessels. These are major findings given that African Americans traditionally have greater risk for cardiovascular disease than other
racial and ethnic groups.
The investigation was implemented by researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta and involved 45 overweight African-American adults. Participants were divided into two groups, one which received 60,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D in a single dose every four weeks for 16 weeks (roughly equivalent to getting 2,000 IU a day). The second group was given a placebo.
Prior to the study’s implementation and after its completion, scientists used ultrasound to evaluate the ability of blood vessels to dilate. One contributor to some forms of cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries,” is reduced blood vessel dilatation. Results showed that in the group that was given Vitamin D, blood vessel dilation had improved.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. In humans, it is produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin to trigger its synthesis. In addition, Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption.
–torrance stephens ph.d.
Torrance Stephens is the author of the blog rawdawgb.blogspot.com.