(BlackDoctor.org) — There are so many reasons to love our darker toned skin, especially the fact that it naturally fights off skin cancer. But on the other hand, African Americans are usually deficient in vitamin D because the pigmentation of their skin limits the amount of vitamin D production in our bodies.
The Best Way To Get Vitamin D
Vitamin D acts like the key to open our bones to allow for calcium absorption. It has many other roles which help to improve our overall health. Obtaining adequate amounts of this vitamin are important for bone health, strengthening our immunity, and regulating cell growth. Some recent studies have speculated that adequate vitamin D intake can prevent cancer.
Vitamin D is generally absorbed from direct sunlight on our skin and it is activated once it is absorbed. Even if you have a lighter skin shade, you may still be deficient in vitamin D, because we are now a more sedentary society and tend to spend most of our time indoors getting away from the sun.
Are Blacks Getting Enough Vitamin D?
According to the National Institute of Health, the adequate intake of vitamin D from birth to age 50 is 200IU per day; age 51-70 intake should be 400IU and after age 70, intake should increase to 600IU per day. Although the main source of vitamin D is sunlight, there are other ways to obtain adequate amounts. Since it’s actually a hormone that is fat-soluble, vitamin D is also found in certain foods, including dairy products, fish, and fish oils. For example, a 1 oz. filet of sockeye salmon contains over 200 IUs (International Units) of vitamin D. Another good source is whole grain vitamin fortified cereals which contains almost half of the daily recommended adequate intake.
You should note that it is possible to take in too much vitamin D, so before making any major changes, it is important to discuss how vitamin D can play a role in your health care and well-being.