News flash! Nate Dogg dead at 41 from stroke – low vitamin D?

African-Americans have the lowest levels of vitamin D in the US population. In fact, 97% have levels below 30 ng/mL, the absolute lowest level needed to maintain good health.

We now know that low vitamin D levels  greatly increase the risk for stroke and other heart and vessel diseases. Low vitamin D also promotes the development of atherosclerosis Рhardening of the arteries Рa dangerous disease that leads to stroke and heart attacks.

Vitamin D levels are dramatically lower than just 20 years ago.

Percent with Low Vitamin D by Age - based on Arch Intern Med 2009; 169


Back then, over half of Americans under 40 had adequate vitamin D levels. Now less than a quarter do.

Back then, vitamin D levels gradually dropped with age. Now low levels dominate all age groups.


If we look by ethnic and racial groups, we see that an even worse picture.

Percent with Low Vitamin D by Group - based on Arch Intern Med 2009; 169


While vitamin D levels have dropped in every group of Americans, African-Americans have a horrendous situation – only 3% have adequate levels. Among other groups, only 9% of Asian-Americans, 10% of Hispanic-Americans, and 29% of Caucasian Americans have adequate levels.

Seeing these numbers, it is no surprise that even affluent African-Americans still have far more strokes and heart attacks than any other segment of our society.


The good news is that correcting low vitamin D is both easy and cheap. A few pennies a day can purchase the vitamin D drops or pills to provide the 2,000 to 4,000 units a day that will get most Americans to healthy levels over several months.

To reap long-term health benefits from better vitamin D levels, you must maintain those good levels indefinitely, which means taking the right amount of vitamin D forever.

Want to avoid a stroke or heart attack at a young age? Have your vitamin D level checked along with your cholesterol level. Get both of them into healthy ranges. It could save your life.


Tomorrow’s post – pregnancy and vitamin D – is there enough D in a prenatal vitamin?

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