Apr 26, 2016

Low levels of vitamin D, methylation in black teens may increase cancer risk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health

Lesson in Vitamin D.

Low levels of vitamin D in black teens correlates with low activity of a major mechanism for controlling gene expression that may increase their risk of cancer and other disease, researchers report.

Their study measured vitamin D levels as well as levels of global DNA methylation in 454 healthy individuals age 14–18. In this group, 99 percent of the white teens had adequate vitamin D levels, 66 percent of the black teens were vitamin D-deficient and all the black teens had lower levels of methylation compared to their white peers, said Dr. Haidong Zhu, molecular geneticist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

When they looked at another group of 58 young black individuals also with low vitamin D and methylation levels who received varying doses of vitamin D supplements for 16 weeks, they found a dose response: the more vitamin D received, the higher the methylation activity, said Zhu, corresponding author of the study in the journal PLOS ONE.

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