Vitamin D Deficiency Is Even Common in Sunny States

Published: October 21, 2012

Recent research showed that Vitamin D deficiency is even common in my home state of Hawaii and even my "adopted" home state of Texas. It is important to get plenty of sunshine (not sunburn) and a good idea to get Vitamin D in your multivitamin wherever you live.

In this study of young women in southeast Texas, where it is quite sunny, Vitamin D deficiency was still common. Those with darker skin (e.g., African-Americans and Latinos) had the lowest levels, as the skin pigment tends to block some of the effect of the sunshine. Those who were overweight also were at higher risk.

Prevalence of Inadequate Vitamin D Status Among Young Women in Southeast Texas


In a cross-sectional study involving 800 non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women between the ages of 16 and 33 years, living in southeast Texas, insufficient Vitamin D status was found to be extremely prevalent, particularly among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and persons who were obese. The lowest serum 25(OH)D levels were found among non-Hispanic blacks (37.7 nmol/L). Slightly higher levels were found among Hispanics (47.9 nmol/L), and significantly higher levels were found among non-Hispanic whites (71.8 nmol/L). Levels of serum 25(OH)D were found to be negatively associated with percent total body fat, total body fat, and body mass index, suggesting that lower levels of Vitamin D would be found among overweight and obese persons. Levels of serum 25(OH)D were positively associated with dietary Vitamin D intake and, interestingly, pack years of smoking. During the summer, levels of serum 2 5(OH)D were higher (55.4 nmol/L) than levels in the winter (48.1 nmol/L). The results of this study suggest that even favorable environmental conditions "do not result in sufficient vitamin D status for young women, especially non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and the obese."


"Association of race, body fat, and season with vitamin D status among young women: A cross-sectional study," McKinney K, Breitkopf CR, et al, Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Abbey B. Berenson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard Galveston TX 77550-0587, USA. E-mail:

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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