Let's talk about the D. No No NOOOO not that D, vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means your body can store a large amount. Vitamin D and calcium are best friends, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Together paired with phosphorus, they help to maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Alone, vitamin D also helps your nerves, muscles, and immune system work properly while working to protect against osteoporosis in older adults.
Alright, alright, so how much Vitamin D do I need?
So where can I get this Vitamin D?
Okay, but doesn't the sun do some weird thing where I can get vitamin D that way?
In Canada, during the spring and summer months when your skin is exposed to the sun, it can convert it to Vitamin D. The amount your body can make depends on where you live, skin tone, and age. Therefore, during the winter months Canadians are encouraged to take a supplement since it is not readily available in food.
That's perfect, cause I'm black and don't wear sunscreen anyways...
NO! Black folks we need to wear sunscreen too, even though we are less sensitive to getting ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage. Depending on your skin tone, you may require a different SPF (sun protection factor) level.
Black people and those of a darker complexion may be more at risk of being deficient in vitamin D, and therefore may require a supplement.
Getting enough vitamin D is as important as getting enough of any other micronutrient. Those who do not drink milk and/or any other fortified beverage may need to connect with a dietitian or health professional regarding supplement use.
Dietitians of Canada. Food Sources of Vitamin D In: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition® [PEN]. 2018 Feb 7 [cited 2021 Jan 2]. Available from: https://www-pennutrition-com.ezproxy.lib.ryerson.ca/KnowledgePathway.aspx?kpid=553&trid=13516&trcatid=467. Access only by subscription. Click Sign Up on PEN login page.
UnlockFoodCA. (2019). What you need to know about Vitamin D. Retrieved from https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/What-you-need-to-know-about-Vitamin-D.aspx