In the United States, there is a significant disparity in vitamin D status among individuals of African versus European descent. Despite having lower total 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels compared with white Americans, African Americans have higher bone mineral density and lower fracture risk. This article reviews classical and nonclassical vitamin D physiology, describes whether total versus free 25-hydroxyvitamin D is a better marker of vitamin D status in African Americans, and summarizes the influence of vitamin D status and vitamin D supplementation on markers of vitamin D bioactivity (intestinal calcium absorption, parathyroid hormone secretion, bone mineral density, fracture) in African Americans.
Keywords: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; African American; Bone mineral density; Calcium absorption; Parathyroid hormone; Vitamin D.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.