Melanin is a substance in your body that produces hair, eye and skin pigmentation. Its content is substantially higher in black skin compared to white skin. In this article, we will learn if dark skin causes vitamin D deficiency and are people with a darker skin shade are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency.
Does dark skin cause vitamin D deficiency?
Having dark skin does not cause vitamin D deficiency, but it can make it more difficult for the body to produce vitamin D from sunlight. Skin pigmentation, i.e., melanin, absorbs the UVR that initiates vitamin D synthesis and hence decreases the vitamin D that is made for a given exposure compared to less pigmented skin.
People with darker skin typically have higher levels of melanin, which means they need more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as someone with lighter skin. This can make it more difficult for people with dark skin to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, especially in regions with less sunlight or during the winter months. Remember, those who are vegan might be at an increased risk.
Therefore, while dark skin does not directly cause vitamin D deficiency, people with dark skin may be at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency and may need to consider taking supplements or increasing their dietary intake of vitamin D. It is crucial for the body. Its deficiency can also cause bones and muscles, in some cases, it is associated with heart diseases. It’s always important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or making significant changes to your diet.
Are people with darker skin shades more prone to vitamin D deficiency?
Yes, People with darker skin are at a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency because the pigment (melanin) in darker skin does not absorb as much ultraviolet (UV) radiation as compared to people with lighter skin colour.
Vitamin D3 is made by the skin when it is exposed to direct sunlight by the reaction of 7-dehydrocholesterol with UVB radiation present in sunlight. Darker skin protects against exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Still, it also inhibits the synthesis of Vitamin D. Those with darker skin colour must spend more time exposed to the sunlight to make the same amount of Vitamin D as compared to the ones with lighter skin tones.
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