What Vitamin D Does To Black Women


doctor visitBy Staff Blogger

When the sun is shining, it makes you feel happy. That is because you are getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D. This vitamin makes your skin healthier, and now researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are finding that Vitamin D in African-Americans can help lower blood pressure as well.

The study was published in the American Heart Association’s journal, the March 13, 2013 edition. It followed 250 African-American adults and split them into four groups. One group received a placebo while the other three groups got a three month regimen of daily Vitamin D. The doses ranged from 1,000 units to 4,000 units.

The results weren’t anything spectacular, but they were definitely a starting point. The placebo group found their blood pressure rising slightly, while the groups with the Vitamin D noticed a small drop in blood pressure, from one to four points. This doesn’t seem like much but it gives researchers a good starting point to develop more research.

Thirty-one percent of African-Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Research has shown that Vitamin D can help with daytime sleepiness and also can help with breast and prostate cancer. Research also shows that African-American women and Caucasian women absorb the Vitamin D the same way.

The recommended dosage of Vitamin D per day is 600 IU for men and women who are 30 years old or older. Here are a few ways you can soak up the Vitamin D.

  1. Go out into the sunlight but always make sure to wear sunscreen
  2. Fatty fish (like Salmon) have Vitamin D
  3. Fortified milk from a cow is a great source of Vitamin D
  4. Vitamin D supplements
  5. Egg yolks
  6. Fortified cereal
  7. Beef liver
  8. Cod liver oil


  1. Black people. Get your vitamin-D from the sun–not supplements. The supplements can cause your arteries to harden.

    • Harold, some of us black women simply cannot get Vitamin-D from the sun because of where we geographically live, and supplements are all that we have. I live in the Pacific NW (Seattle area,) and sunshine isn’t a consistent thing here, unfortunately.

      • I might add that it’s not all sunshine-deficiency, either. My doctor has seen a number of people he says get LOTS of sun and are still vitamin-D deficient. Something environmental or in food may be part of it. Supplements are far better than nothing and may make a huge difference. I know they do for me.

      • Get it from fish. the pacific NW offers a better and fresher fish supply than other areas of the country. Utilize your location. That is what man has done since the dawn of time

  2. Harold, some of us black women simply cannot get Vitamin-D from the sun because of where we geographically live, and supplements are all that we have. I live in the Pacific NW (Seattle area,) and sunshine isn’t a consistent thing here, unfortunately.

  3. If you live in an area where you don’t have consistent exposure to sunlight, be sure to get a very good liquid source of vitamin d. IF you vitamin d is still low after sunlight exposure for a period of time and/or taking of supplements, then there may be some gastrointestinal issues to take a look at as it may be blocking your bodies ability to absord the nutrients needed. ~ Yoli’s Green Living

  4. Vitamin D deficiency isn’t just a black thing. People of all races are affected by vitamin D deficiency. You CAN NOT get the amount of vitamin D you need by sunbathing or by your diet. Therefore, everyone should be taking a vitamin D supplement daily, minimum of 1,000 IU.

  5. Harold…you may want to send off for a refresher course to keep your correspondence MD fresh. For all others…you should consult an Endo before starting supplements in vitamin D. There is a safe amount but too much can become toxic. Get checked and follow the prescription to the letter.

  6. I am very disappointed with the information presented about Vitamin D which I have been studying from other do hits for 7 years. Firstly please present the most current information. Outdated information can do more harm than good.
    – black women and white women do not absorb Vitamin D the same. The rate of absorption for Black women is much slower depending on the amount of melanin in the skin, that acts as a natural sunblock , and sun screen.
    Next everyone should be aware that many sunscreens and sun blockers are carcinogenic. We should stop using them. Next 1000 ius. Is for a young child 4000-5000 is the therapeutic dose for adults. But it is true check your levels because too much ca. Be damaging. Most doctors don’t know the current levels because Med school doesn’t teach much about treating sickness and disease naturally, by diet, supplements, herbs, and exercercise.
    Next – vitamin D stimulates over 600 metabolic functions in the body.
    Vitamin D is the # 1 all natural preventative for cancer.
    Liquid forms of vitamin D are the best.

  7. My endocrinologist have been prescribing me 50,000iu for over two years. I take one pill every other week. I must admit that change in my body was noticeable. I wish I was diagnosed years ago. She said that my count was the lowest she had seen in some time. I didn’t have a clue of getting your vitamin checked. I am definitely one who don’t stay in the sun long. I have been working nights for years and sleep during the day. I urge other women of color to ask their doctor to check their level.