Whether you’re following the NCAA basketball tournament or not, you probably heard about, and unfortunately saw, Louisville Sophomore Kevin Ware’s horrifying leg injury last weekend. Ware suffered a compound, open fracture on a seemingly innocuous play, leading some to speculate that a lack of vitamin D and calcium played a part in the injury.
Tim Hewitt, director of sports medicine research at Ohio State University told ABC News that it’s likely that Ware had porous bones as a result of being deficient in vitamin D and calcium.
“Watching the video tape over and over, I would not expect this type of fracture to occur. I suspect he had some risk factors that created some sort of bone deficit,” Hewitt told ABC.
Ware is African American. According to U.S. government data, nearly 1 in 3 African Americans today are severely deficient in vitamin D — a figure that has increased 322 percent from just 9 percent a generation ago.
The effects of vitamin D on bone health are well established. Various studies have shown that higher vitamin D levels reduce the risk of bone fractures and breaks. Without proper vitamin D levels, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen, according the National Health Institute.
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