Nutritional differences by racial/ethnic population as well as immediate surroundings (urban vs rural) have long been recognized in the medical literature. The evidence shows that 4 of 5 African Americans have insufficient, or worse, vitamin D levels compared to much lower rates in Whites, but the vitamin and mineral differences don’t end there. African Americans are also significantly deficient in potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C. Researchers have suspected that these nutritional differences may be the key to reducing the burden of many diseases in the Black community. Urban living, food deserts, lead exposure, and more contribute to an array of nutritional deficiencies in city-dwellers that also lead to premature heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. Some substances, including vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin K may present a problem for select populations . . . the research related to this will be reviewed as well.
- Summarize the latest data related to nutritional deficiencies by race/ethnicity
- Review the major health disparities that have been linked to nutritional deficiencies
- Examine the controversy regarding vitamin E and selenium and review the research studies that both support and reject their supplementation in non-deficient populations