Researchers want to know if African Americans are more susceptible to cancer and heart disease because of vitamin D deficiencies.
So later this year, a group of doctors in Boston will recruit 20,000 older people to participate in a federally funded study. A quarter of the volunteers will be African American.
The researchers want to see if vitamin D and fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of developing cancer or cardiovascular disease, especially in black Americans.
Some research suggests that, because of our darker skin, African Americans may have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency and thus a greater frequency of certain types of cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
Women over 65 and men over 60 with no history of cancer or cardiovascular disease will be recruited and randomly assigned into four study groups, according to the Boston Globe.
Some will take daily pills with about 2,000 international units of vitamin D and about 1 gram of fish oil, the Globe reports. Others will take pills containing no active ingredients. In the two remaining groups, participants will get one of the supplements and one placebo.
The $20 million study will be funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Qcitymetro asks: Given our history as it relates to government research, would you volunteer for a study such as this?