As the race for the Democratic and Republican nominations heats up, it makes me wonder, which candidate has the highest vitamin D level? Is a higher vitamin D level an advantage in the race for the nomination?
A study from Cancer Causes and Control published this month shows that 45 percent of African Americans living in the southeastern United States have vitamin D levels of less than or equal to 15 ng/mL. Wow is that low! Normal is more than twice that. The CDC data shows that about 70 percent of women over 60 years of age have vitamin D levels below 30 (Clinton) and that 90 percent of African Americans regardless of age are below 30 (Obama). This is a slim margin for Clinton.
Obesity is also a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. Maybe that is why Bill Richardson has already dropped out of the race. Not to mention that he is also part Latino which also increases his risk. He ran out of gas: fatigue, depressed mood, more weight gain, aches and pains. These symptoms can’t help your stamina and enthusiasm on the campaign trail.
For candidates over 70 (McCain) the risk of D-deficiency is higher. Remember at about 80 years of age you require 3 times more sun to make the same amount of vitamin D as a 20 year old. In addition, we know John McCain was diagnosed about 8 years ago with recurrent melanoma. Likely his dermatologist recommended staying out of the sun and wearing a high SPF sun screen. Although 55 percent of men over 60 have D levels below 30 (Romney), McCain’s risk for vitamin D deficiency adjusted for his additional age and sun avoidance is probably closer to Hilary Clinton at 70 percent.
So the risk for vitamin D deficiency at the top adds up like this: Clinton (70 percent), McCain (70 percent), Obama (90 percent) and Romney (55 percent). They all need supplements! And if they have not been eating my suggested Campaign Breakfast they probably need some help with their diet as well.
Now politics is about ideas not vitamin D levels but race and gender make a difference in both arenas. Vitamin D certainly explains some of the higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and cancer that we see in African Americans and Latinos. It also explains some of the higher risk of autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and bone disease that we see in women compared to men.
So vitamin D may not predict the election, but you know what you need to do; take a supplement. Higher D-levels are also associated with increased intake of green vegetables and seafood, aerobic exercise and sun exposure. I vote for The Vitamin D Cure!