Dr. Heaney recalls the population at highest risk for vitamin D and calcium deficiencies.
African-Americans, or people of color generally, are most at risk for both calcium and vitamin D deficiencies, but for different reasons. African-Americans have been led to believe that they cannot tolerate milk and so as a result, they tend to have a reduced dairy intake and that means they’re low in calcium; they’re low in the vitamin D that would have come in with the milk. They’re low in protein, they’re low in phosphorus, they’re low in potassium.
African-American populations stay away from milk are multiply deficient. They cannot get it from the foods that would otherwise be available in their diet, but it turns out that white women are deficient in both as well although not quite so severely as it might be the case when we come to the African-American contrast, for example.
Probably two-thirds to three-fourths of middle-aged and older white women are low in vitamin D status. Not as severely deficient as the African-Americans, but deficient nonetheless.
About Dr. Heaney, M.D., F.A.C.P, F.A.C.N.:
Dr. Robert Heaney is an internationally recognized expert in the field of bone biology and calcium nutrition. He has worked for over 45 years in the study of osteoporosis and calcium physiology, and has published more than 300 original papers, chapters, monographs, and reviews in scientific and educational fields. He is a frequently invited editorial writer for the major medical journals, including JAMA, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Annals of Internal Medicine, Clinical Chemistry, Metabolism, and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. He serves on numerous nutrition industry scientific advisory panels.
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