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Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities – June 2011

Medical Express

mproved Quality of Life – answering such question as

  • "During the past four weeks, how much did pain interfere with your normal work?"
  • "How much time during the past four weeks have you felt downhearted and depressed?”
    • Overall, black Adventist study participants reported better physical and mental quality of life than the U.S. norm,
    • in some cases by as much as 4.5 percentage points.
  • "This difference is particularly pronounced in older age groups, who progressively demonstrate
    • increased mental health—lower depression,
    • more energy,
    • feeling more calm and peaceful, etc. - relative to the general population.

graphics are in PDF file attached to the bottom of this page

Excellent lifestyle

A comment by them "In this study, there was nothing that linked any one nutrient with increased quality of life. There were certain lifestyle behaviors such as not drinking/not smoking/eating a vegetarian diet/church attendance that researchers believed could explain this increased mental/physical quality of life. But vitamin D was not on the list. "

A portion of the improvement in Physical and Mental Quality of life for the Blacks could be due to increased vitamin D

More time in the sun


  • “Where possible, exposure of a large area of the body to some 20 minutes of midday sunshine would be the natural way of getting vitamin D; this being impractical for most, supplementation is recommended”

They also have a piece: Vegetarians and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important hormone in the prevention of osteoporosis and rickets but beyond that has major functions in the prevention of heart disease, cancers, diabetes and in the regulation of the immune system. Foods naturally rich in vitamin D are all from animal sources: cod liver oil, finfish, and shellfish. The only naturally occurring plant sources of vitamin D are certain mushrooms, in which it is present in only small amounts. There has been concern that vegetarians would have lower blood levels of vitamin D than non-vegetarians.

AHS-2 looked at the vitamin D status of vegetarians, partial vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The results demonstrated that a vegetarian diet was not associated with lower levels of vitamin D. Other factors, such as vitamin D supplementation, degree of skin pigmentation, and amount and intensity of sun exposure had a greater influence on vitamin D levels in blood than diet.

Skin Pigmentation

Of the factors mentioned above, degree of skin pigmentation caused the greatest difference in vitamin D concentrations. Regardless of dietary preferences, the percentage of subjects with deficiencies was much higher among Blacks (75.4%) than among Whites (47.5%). This was shown even though other areas, such as vitamin D intake and amount of exposure to the sun, were equal. The reason cited for this outcome is that, when exposed to sufficiently strong sunshine, lighter-skinned persons’ skin can produce relatively high amounts of vitamin D in a relatively short amount of time. Nevertheless, Black subjects generally have good bone health. Whether lower blood vitamin D levels affect other aspects of their health is not yet clear.

which is apparently a conclusion from the following study they recently published

Determinants of serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels in a nationwide cohort of blacks and non-Hispanic whites.

Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Apr;21(4):501-11. Epub 2009 Dec 11.
Chan J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fraser GE.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, 24785 Stewart St, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.

To develop algorithms predicting serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D s25(OH)D for a large epidemiological study whose subjects come from large geographic areas, are racially diverse and have a wide range in age, skin types, and month of blood sample collection. This will allow a regression calibration approach to determine s25(OH)D levels replacing the more costly method of collection and analysis of blood samples.

Questionnaire data from a subsample of 236 non-Hispanic whites (whites) and 209 blacks from the widely dispersed Adventist Health Study-2(n = 96,000) were used to develop prediction algorithms for races separately and combined. A single blood sample was collected from each subject, at different times throughout the year.

Models with independent variables age, sex, BMI, skin type, UV season, erythemal zone, total dietary vitamin D intake, and sun exposure factor explained 22 and 31% of the variance of s25(OH)D levels in white and black populations, respectively (42% when combined). UV season and erythemal zone determined from measured UV radiation produced models with higher R (2) than season and latitude.

Combining races with a term for race and using variables with measured UV radiation capture the variance in s25(OH)D levels better than analyzing races separately.
PMID: 20012182

See also VitaminDWiki

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
597 AHS-2 Black Mental_Physical Quality of Life.pdf 1 page overview admin 29 Jun, 2011 23:44 74.75 Kb 957
596 7th day lifestyle.png Lifestyle admin 29 Jun, 2011 23:43 16.49 Kb 1305
595 7th day physical quality of life.png Physical admin 29 Jun, 2011 23:42 50.91 Kb 1385
594 7th day mental quality of life.png Mental admin 29 Jun, 2011 23:42 51.34 Kb 1307