Because Black women are three times as likely as their White counterparts to have a vitamin D deficiency, they have an increased risk of vaginosis, a vaginal infection bacteria, a study in the June edition of Journal Nutrition reports. It’s the higher dose of skin pigment in African Americans that prevents them from absorbing the vitamin, the report shows.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh examined 209 pregnant White women and 260 pregnant Black women and learned that more than half of the women had low vitamin D. Women with levels of vitamin D lower than 50 nanomoles had a 26-percent increased risk of bacterial vaginosis. Those with vitamin D levels lower than 2- nanomoles had a 65-percent added risk of the infection.
More than half of the Black women (52 percent) had the infection, compared with 27 percent of the White women who did. Contributing to the low levels of vitamin D are poor diets and obesity, and Black women are far more likely to meet optimum dietary recommendations for vitamin D.