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One reason for the difference, experts say, could be that it takes fair skin less time to absorb vitamin D from the sun than darker skin. Also, Reis said, blacks may be skipping milk because they are more likely to be lactose intolerant.
Dr. Randal Thomas, director of the cardiovascular health clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said that it's likely that vitamin D deficiencies in teens stem from unhealthy diets and lack of exercise outdoors.
"If their diet includes chips and soft drinks, they're probably not getting enough vitamin D," said Thomas.
Experts say there are many questions that still need to be answered about vitamin D, including how much people need.
"As time goes on, we're getting a better idea of what we need and how it's functioning in our bodies," said Adrian Gombart, a vitamin D researcher at Oregon State University.
On the Net:
American Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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