"He wanna give me that vitamin D!" sings Beyonce, in 2018's "Apesh*t". We're not talking about that D. We're talking Vitamin D and why you need it, especially if you are Black or have a deeper skin tone. So what's the deal?
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the human body. It helps to maintain the bones, keep muscles and teeth healthy. Vitamin D is also proven to lower the risk of diabetes and several other serious illnesses.
Despite its name Vitamin D is not actually a Vitamin but a precursor of a hormone. Playing multiple roles in the body, including supporting the functioning of the immune, brain and nervous systems. Vitamin D also known as the ‘Sunshine’ vitamin it is essential for people with a darker skin tone as it prevents a number of illnesses as mentioned before. Vitamin D was also known to act as a defence
to keep the coronavirus at bay as it helps with immune and respiratory health.
Melanin can also protect the skin against ultraviolet light. With this blocking the sun ray’s melanin affects the skin‘s ability to activate pre-vitamin D. The darker the skin, the less Vitamin D is being produced. Studies have shown that older adults with darker skin are more likely to be at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. High pigmentation can lessen the skin‘s ability to make Vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure. Therefore we must absorb this from other sources, as natural as possible.
Besides a little daily sunshine exposure (don’t forget your SPF!) you can also find Vitamin D in fat-soluble forms in foods such as cheese, fatty fish and foods fortified with Vitamin D such as dairy products, orange
juice and soy milk.
Go get that D!