Vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent than we think

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Vitamin D Deficiency – More Prevalent than we think

Five years ago, in his 2003 Robert H. Herman Memorial Award in Clinical Nutrition, Dr. Michael F. Holick argued convincingly that there is an unrecognized epidemic of vitamin D deficiency among children and adults in the US.6 In children and adults, vitamin D deficiency results in bone issues – issues that are on the rise in 21st century America. In fact, Dr. Holick’s research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism discovered that at least half of all adult women in the US do not consume even 400 IU of vitamin D daily.7

Other scientists who have published their research results more recently in the Journal of Nutrition have made the same discovery: about 25% of all adult men and over half of all adult women in the US do not consume even 400 IU of vitamin D daily.8,9,10 These percentages are doubled among black and Hispanic men and women. Even more adults are vitamin D “insufficient” – a fancy way of saying that they haven’t reached the low levels associated with clinical deficiency but have lower than optimal levels, nonetheless.

Tomorrow’s topic: Vitamin D Levels and Normal Aging

6. Holick MF. Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:362-371.
7. Holick MF, Siris ES, Binkley N, Beard MK, Khan A, Katzer JT, Petruschke RA, Chen E, de Papp AE. Prevalence of Vitamin D inadequacy among postmenopausal North American women receiving osteoporosis therapy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005;90:3215-3224.
8. Hanley DA, Davison KS. Vitamin D insufficiency in North America. J Nutr 2005;135:332-337.
9. Moore CE, Murphy MM, Holick MF. Vitamin D intakes by children and adults in the United States differ among ethnic groups. J Nutr 2005;135:2478-2485.

10. Harris SS. Vitamin D and African Americans. J Nutr 2006;136:1126-1129.

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