The study also suggests the problem may be even more widespread among younger Americans and members of certain racial and ethnic groups. Every one of the African-American, East African, Hispanic and American Indian participants in the study were vitamin D deficient. All participants younger than 30, regardless of nationality, also were found to be deficient. Of those, more than half were severely deficient.
Finally, five participants, who had been told by their doctors that their pain was “all in their head,” had no vitamin D at all, according to the study. “These findings are remarkably different than what is taught in medical school,” said Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, professor at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing and lead researcher in the study. “We found the worst vitamin D deficiency in young persons ÷ especially women of childbearing age.” Part of the reason is low consumption of milk, which is fortified with vitamin D, the researchers said. The per capita milk consumption by U.S. teenagers in 2001 provide less than 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D, they pointed out.