Too Little Vitamin D May Explain Black Americans’ Cancer Deaths

Christopher Wanjek, MSNBC, June 13, 2012

African-Americans are 25 percent more likely to die from cancer than white Americans are, and the reasons are numerous, including lower socio-economic status, poorer access to health care, and the cancer diagnosis coming at later, more deadly stages.

Still, health experts say these factors cannot fully explain the extent of disparities in survival for the most common cancers, such as breast, lung, colon and prostate cancers.

A paper published in the current issue of the journal Dermato-Endocrinology points the finger at a seemingly obvious but overlooked culprit: the sun.

The researchers’ theory is that, in northern latitudes, the dark skin of African-Americans cannot absorb enough sunlight to generate adequate amounts of vitamin D, which is often called the “sunshine vitamin.” The body uses ultraviolet rays from the sun to manufacture vitamin D in the inner layers of the skin.

Vitamin D is needed for strong bones; doctors nearly 100 years ago associated a lack of adequate sun exposure with rickets among child laborers, exemplified by bowed legs. Recent studies also have shown that low levels of vitamin D in the blood seem to contribute to a weak immune system and a host of diseases, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.

This lack of vitamin D could completely fill in the health disparity gap for cancer survival between white and black Americans, the researchers said.

Previous work by geneticist Rick Kittles at the University of Chicago suggests that upwards of 75 percent of African-Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Kittles says that African-Americans living north of the 37th parallel—just about anyplace north of central California, Texas, Tennessee or North Carolina—will have difficulty through most of the year absorbing enough sunlight to make vitamin D, because of the low angle of the rays reaching the Earth’s surface.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Church_of_Jed

    This is quack racist pseudo science, because race is just a social construct to keep White privilege protected by systemic bias and structural inequity.  We are all one race, the human race. 

    If blacks have more cancer, it’s because the federal govt. puts something in the water in poor neighborhoods because Whites hate blacks.

    • Lancelot Lincoln

      Whites need to keep this knowledge secret, or soon there will be a rapper on Sesame Street known as Vitamin D.
       
      Church’s Fried Chicken needs to remove the vitamin D from its birds. Every black man knows that vitamin D makes you sterile.

  • More blacks will see this as justification to go around in public w/less clothing — just what we need, more black guys w/their shirts off and more overweight or obese black gals wearing tank tops and hot pants….

    •  Blacks don’t need an excuse to run around as bereft of clothing that the weather and the police will allow.

  • MaidInEngland

    Happy for them had they remained Africans rather than African Americans

  • MekongDelta69

    I have a solution. All black people should move back waaaaaaay below the 37th parallel. Sort of where Africa might be located.
    Problem solved.

  • razorrare

    I heard something similiar to this over a decade ago…that sunscreen was actually bad & caused cancer because it helped block out the suns-rays that were beneficial in manufacturing vitamin D…to back his point the author claimed that blacks in Africa had the lowest cancer rates of any other country in the world…since then i threw away the sunscreen  and get as much sun as possible.

  • razorrare

    I heard something similiar to this over a decade ago…that sunscreen was actually bad & caused cancer because it helped block out the suns-rays that were beneficial in manufacturing vitamin D…to back his point the author claimed that blacks in Africa had the lowest cancer rates of any other country in the world…since then i threw away the sunscreen and get as much sun as possible.

    • pc must go

       watch-out, unless you want wrinkles. SPF 15 daily moisturizer is essential for women (and men) trying to keep a youthful appearance.

      • Spartan24708

        Or blotchy sun-damaged skin! 

  • razorrare

    I heard something similiar to this over a decade ago…that sunscreen was actually bad & caused cancer because it helped block out the suns-rays that were beneficial in manufacturing vitamin D…to back his point the author claimed that blacks in Africa had the lowest cancer rates of any other country in the world…since then i threw away the sunscreen and get as much sun as possible.

  • razorrare

    I heard something similiar to this over a decade ago…that sunscreen was actually bad & caused cancer because it helped block out the suns-rays that were beneficial in manufacturing vitamin D…to back his point the author claimed that blacks in Africa had the lowest cancer rates of any other country in the world…since then i threw away the sunscreen and get as much sun as possible.

  • razorrare

    I heard something similiar to this over a decade ago…that sunscreen was actually bad & caused cancer because it helped block out the suns-rays that were beneficial in manufacturing vitamin D…to back his point the author claimed that blacks in Africa had the lowest cancer rates of any other country in the world…since then i threw away the sunscreen and get as much sun as possible.

  • White people really do have SUPER powers!  We convert UV radiation from the Sun into Vitamin D in a similar manner that SUPERMAN uses the sun’s UV radiation to recharge his powers.

    -As as aside, in response to this study, the FDA has now mandated that ALL 40 oz. beverages be fortified with Vitamin D!

  • Spartan24708

    I’m so tired of hearing the phrase “access to health care” as if there are armed guards stationed at the doors of hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics to prevent minorities from entrance. If anything they go more often with medicaid and other free programs for minorities only aimed at “preventative health care” 

  • alastairabbacle

    “Geneticist Rick Kittles at the University of Chicago suggests that upwards of 75 percent of African-Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Kittles says that African-Americans living north of the 37th parallel—just about anyplace north of central California, Texas, Tennessee or North Carolina—will have difficulty through most of the year absorbing enough sunlight to make vitamin D, because of the low angle of the rays reaching the Earth’s surface.”
    Well, encourage Blacks to all move  south of the 37th parallel.  Brilliant idea.    
    Then cities like Buffalo, NY and Cleveland, OH will be prosperous, safe cities again. 

    • mikejones91

      Along with Philly/Seattle. Seattle is still pretty nice I hear.

  • So wearing the White man’s clothes is killing Africans in
    America.
    Again attempts to assimilate Africans into the Western world
    fails.

  • alastairabbacle

    “Non-whites will always gravitate towards whichever areas have white-majority populations.”   Until they reach their “quota”.  

    http://youtu.be/ZEqwyvly4lI?t=48s

    Then the place becomes less attractive…

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    bLACK MOB ATTACKS IN PORTLAND “SEEKING OUT WHITES” GROUPS OF 30 BLACKS
     http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story/Suspects-sought-in-Laurelhurst-Park-mob-attacks/J_o4G0CFS0SGAxZhYTjsKQ.cspx

  • pc must go

    Vitamin D radically improved my ability to get through NYC winters without feeling depressed with all the greyness. More energy too. I take it every winter now.

    • mikejones91

      I was thinking about taking them. I was gonna ask if they work but they seemed to for you.

  • Detroit_WASP

    Maybe the dark skin is keeping the classroom information from getting through as well.  And that is why blacks score 15-30% lower on standardized tests.  I knew it!

  • They were taken from their natural environment which is why they should return to African so they can run naked in the African bush. Cancer deaths solved. Win-win.

  • whiteuncleruckus

    i completely agree with you on that last point. no matter how “racist” white people are, non-whites are very much aware that their lives will be better, safer and more secure in a white society than in their own. its a testament to just how great the white race really is, but allowing them to be a part of white society will utimately be the downfall of white people.

  • Spartan24708

    Vitamin D is added to all milk produced in the US. If these people are on WIC they get milk but I guess it is like the old saying about a horse and water. 

  • APaige

    The real question is if it is the sun or vitamin D that is racist. The only people denied access to proper health care are those that are legal…tax-paying…non-prisoner…and covered by heath insurance.

  • IstvanIN

    I became lactose intolerant around age 19/20.  I drink loactose free milk to get my calcium and vitamin D.  Plus I love milked and guzzled it as a kid.

    • IstvanIN

      Why did you lock down my post?  To prevent me from fixing a typo?

  • Is this a Neo-Nazi skin care advice page?

  • Detroit_WASP

    LOL.  I have wondered that myself.

  • Church_of_Jed

    She’s a beautiful White woman whom White Christ and all White men should love and adore.

  • Kurt Plummer

    I would like to see this correlated against the amount of time blacks spend outdoors.

    Daily television watching predilections aside, I have a feeling they are racially and culturally more gregarious as a function of finding company and doing things together outside the home as well as being SES as employment opportunities more likely to be found in jobs outside an office environment than.

    You cannot make these kinds of snap commentaries without accounting for differing lifestyle conditions, both between and within groups.

    That said, the likeliest best means for treatment of this is via a series of skin implants (Norplant/Implanon like) which, in addition to acting as constant birth control vector and possible inhibitor of testosterone function (the later the onset of puberty, the more useful school years the boys especially would get), could dispense necessary vitamins to ‘children at risk’.

    Particularly if we are talking skeletal issues, we are talking developmental increments where more at the beginning = fewer health conditions later in adult life.

    I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing this, even for whites, since whatever we have done to sabotage our young people with the afflictions of ADHD and Autism in such alarming numbers as I am now reading, could equally be something where longterm, extremely low doseage, counterdrugs could be applied to genetically screened children who had a high percentage likelihood of developmental onset, early in childhood.

    Point being:  we don’t have to like these people to _stay white_ in our dispassionate and detached ability to analytically break down the cost:benefits and see that -when- you spend the medical care is often a determinator in how much has to be expended.

  • DavidMacko

    The enemy, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the establishment media, strives incessantly to portray American Renaissance and the rest of us White preservationists in the most negative, distorted manner possible.
    However, the information which you provided about Vitamin D, which is being suppressed in order to continue the myth that either there are no racial differences or that they are only skin deep, would do more to benefit Blacks than all of the agitation by Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the other agitators.
    That is why it is so important to have a rational, scholarly, honest discussion of race from a White preservationist perspective, a responsibility which AR fulfills so well.

  • great point

  • I take vitamin supplements-  why the fuss ?

  • All they need do is run around outside without clothing like they do in Africa.  Maybe returning to their real homeland in Africa will save their lives.