In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the crucial role that Vitamin D plays in maintaining overall health. While this essential vitamin is beneficial for people of all backgrounds, it holds particular significance for individuals with darker skin tones.

In this blog we will be exploring the unique needs of people of colour when it comes to Vitamin D and the importance of supplementation.

So, What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is primarily obtained through sun exposure, diet, and supplements. It is responsible for promoting calcium absorption, aiding bone health, modulating the immune system, and regulating cell growth.

There are two primary forms of Vitamin D: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). While both forms are beneficial, Vitamin D3 is the more active and easily absorbed form by the human body.

The Sun and Skin Pigmentation:

Melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour, acts as a natural sunscreen, providing a degree of protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

However, this protective mechanism also reduces the skin's ability to produce Vitamin D. Darker skin tones have higher amounts of melanin, which means we require more sun exposure to produce sufficient Vitamin D compared to individuals with lighter skin.
There are two primary forms of Vitamin D: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). While both forms are beneficial, Vitamin D3 is the more active and easily absorbed form by the human body.

Vitamin D Deficiency in People of Color:

Due to the reduced ability to synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight, people of colour are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency can have significant consequences on their health. Studies have shown that people with darker skin have a higher prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency compared to those with lighter skin tones.

In a paper published by The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers conducted a systematic review of the vitamin D and dietary intakes of members of the black community across the globe. The findings suggest that people of African descent should consider taking vitamin D supplements and consume more vitamin D rich foods.

The researchers found that when looking at black individuals who live in low-latitude countries (such as Brazil and South Africa), there was vitamin D sufficiency. However, in those who live at higher latitudes (such as the UK, USA & Europe) vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were common.

The Importance of Vitamin D:

1) Bone Health: Adequate levels of Vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption and maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weakened bones, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. People of colour are already at a higher risk of certain bone diseases, making Vitamin D supplementation even more critical for us.

2) Immune Function: Vitamin D plays a vital role in modulating the immune system, reducing the risk of infections and autoimmune disorders. Insufficient Vitamin D levels have been associated with increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, such as colds and flu. Given the potential health disparities faced by people of colour, ensuring optimal immune function is of utmost importance.

3) Skin Health: Vitamin D possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to improving skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Adequate Vitamin D levels can help maintain healthy skin, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing, thus benefiting individuals with darker skin tones who may be more prone to certain skin conditions.

Can Vitamin D Supplements Help?

Given the challenges in obtaining sufficient Vitamin D from sunlight alone, supplementation becomes crucial. Vitamin D supplements, especially Vitamin D3, can help bridge the gap between the body's requirements and what can be obtained from natural sources.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults over the age of 19 should get at least 600 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D each day.

While Vitamin D supplements are generally safe, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to assess your individual needs and specific requirements.

Does the new Hair Boost Collagen Drink contain Vitamin D?

Yes, it does! 30 micrograms (μg) ≃ 1200 IU to be exact.

Our Hair Boost Collagen Drink has been upgraded to harness the power of Vitamin D3. With it, you can achieve your daily recommended dosage and more!

Incorporating more Vitamin D3 into your diet and daily routine will enhance your overall health and vitality. Don't settle for insufficient levels; empower yourself today.