The Banner offers story on African-Americans and Vitamin D and a new magazine

Boston’s Bay State Banner, a publication focusing on African-American issues, is coming out with a new quarterly “lifestyle” magazine. Exhale, which is already on-line, officially launches on Oct. 1. Much of the focus is on health. The current issue offer stories on the mind-body link, healthy eating and Vitamin D.

 The Banner’s health page also offers a story on African-Americans and Vitamin D deficiency.  The story features Dr. Douglass Bibuld, the medical director of Mattapan Community Health Center

 The Center is now part of a collaboration with the American Public Health Association to develop a national policy on vitamin D.

From what the Center has seen, the numbers are alarming in the black community. With the assistance of Dr. Holick, they found that in 2007, 85 percent of their patients tested for vitamin D levels had scores of below 20 ng/mL — well below the recommended minimum of 30, and, worse, the average score was about 13 in the winter months.

Dr. Bibuld understands part of the problem — at least among blacks — is that higher levels of melanin makes it more difficult to process ultraviolet B rays. Melanin tends to block rather than absorb the sun. That process is worse for the elderly whose bodies are unable to produce vitamin D as easily as in their younger days.

 More here from Tufts on African-Americans and Vitamin D deficiency.

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