by: John S. Adams, Martin Hewison
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, Vol. 95, No. 2. (February 2010), pp. 471-478.
The past decade, particularly the last 18 months, witnessed a vigorous increase in interest in vitamin D from both the lay and biomedical worlds. Much of the growing interest in vitamin D is powered by new data being extracted from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The newest statistics demonstrate that more than 90% of the pigmented populace of the United States (Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians) now suffer from vitamin D insufficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D <30 ng/ml), with nearly three fourths of the white population in this country also being vitamin D insufficient.
This represents a near doubling of the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency seen just 10 yr ago in the same population. This review attempts to provide some explanation for:
- the rapid decline in vitamin D status in the United States;
- the adverse impact of vitamin D insufficiency on skeletal, infectious/inflammatory, and metabolic health in humans; and
- the therapeutic rationale and reliable means for vigorous supplementation of our diets with vitamin D.
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. . near doubling in the number of subjects in the American population from 1994 to 2004 with 25OHD levels less than 30ng/ml.
Currently, only 20–25% of the assayed NHANES population has a serum 25OHD level of at least 30ng/ml, whereas 25–35%
of the population has frank vitamin D deficiency (i.e. 25OHD < 20ng/ml) (12).
This finding holds across all age groups, ages 12 to more than 60 yr, males and females alike.
In pigmented Black and Latino segments of the population, the percentage of vitamin D-sufficient subjects is less than 10%.
In the American Black population, less than 3% of mothers are vitamin D sufficient (11),
and the mean cord blood level of 25OHD in the offspring of African-American mothers (10 +- 6 ng/ml) is well into the vitamin D-deficient range (13).