Relationship drama isn’t the only thing that can harm a teenager’s
heart. Low vitamin D levels can also put teens at risk for heart disease and diabetes, said researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Researchers analyzed data from adolescents who enrolled in a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey from 2001 to 2004. They found that 25 percent of teens with the lowest vitamin D levels were four times more likely to acquire metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors for diabetes. Also, black teens averaged about half the vitamin D levels seen in white teens.

While it might seem like a good idea to include vitamin D supplements in the diet, researchers haven’t proved whether this would reduce diabetes and heart disease risk. “American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, and that people get their nutrients primarily from food sources rather than supplements,” said AHA president Robert Eckel, MD.

Read more about vitamin D consumption and African Americans here: