What Most Black People, Minorities And The Rest Of Us Don’t Know Until It’s Too Late.
Vitamin D is a subject that can not go unaddressed-especially in the Black community. Oftentimes, Black people, Native Americans and other caramel-brown shaded ethnicities, or even white people aren’t told the truth about its importance, which has been hitting the news as of late. After reading this, you may want to get your vitamin D checked quicker than you think. Taking this lightly no matter what skin complexion you ultimately have can actually serve to be critical to your overall health.
Vitamin D is an extremely important essential vitamin. It is fat soluble. It regulates calcium within the body and the absorption process of vitamin B12, magnesium, and phosphorus. Vitamin D also assists in regulating hormones that affect blood vessels. But there is a catch. The source of natural vitamin D3 only comes from natural sunlight. And despite where
you live, YOU STILL NEED A LOT OF VITAMIN D!
There has been a misconception that Black people are vitamin D deficient partially because they don’t take care of their health. First hand, speaking from my own experience and others I know, that is utter nonsense. Frankly, it has nothing to do with not wanting to make health a priority. As many people I know “are” in fact, following their doctor’s orders. Rather, the subject isn’t being approached by health care practitioners and largely because Vitamin D isn’t checked during a person's standard regular check-ups or blood work panels. So, if the majority of the population isn’t getting this vitamin checked and their at subpar levels, chances are that a person of color’s Vitamin D level is virtually non existent- 25 or less. Yes, I said that correctly! Thus most Blacks and people of color are unaware that they’re low in vitamin D or have been severely deficient for quite some time. Perhaps months or even several years, which gives a chance for acute, but mainly chronic ailments to begin to develop.
You may have blood work to determine CBC (complete blood count) levels or a CMP (complete metabolic panel) of a variety of different levels to maintain the body to function properly. However, the vitamin D blood test isn’t included in either of those panels. The stand alone test EVERYONE should request or better yet politely demand from a physician is called ‘25-Hydroxy Vitamin D’. That test is the most precise way to measure how much vitamin D you have currently in your body.
You may have heard or read that a person only needs 10-15 minutes of sunlight. However, according to some studies and physicians- I know personally, that 10-15 minutes only is questionable. Depending on what part of the country you are in and the weather, seasons; it may even take White people closer to 30 minutes. Therefore, minorities may need an estimated one to two hours of sun, a few times per week. You may have also heard or read that people, regardless of race- should wear some form of sunblock, or natural sun protector and reapply it as directed in order to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. But
again, studies are questionable. Minorities may need to receive those natural rays any chance they get. Although sunblock is important, it’s also important to get your vitamin D.
One of the main reasons Blacks and minorities run a higher risk of deficiency is because of the melanin in the skin. Melanin is a skin pigment which varies within people of color. The darker a person is, the more time it takes sunlight and vitamin D to penetrate through the skin. Once absorbed the vitamin D, is then transported by the liver to be used. However, if a person has excess body-fat, this may absorb the vitamin D also, which then would not be used properly in the body.
Depending on an individual’s health disciplines, whether for white people or minorities needs to be taken into account. Bottom line- it’s up to individuals to be proactive and take control over our own health journeys. Of course, we must also factor in people’s various individual lifestyles and practices. In the past, children constantly played outside more, but
computers, mobile devices, electronic games, have taken their attention and changed this. And people, for some, as a whole, have busier crammed schedules which include pandemic parameters, longer work days, stay at home structures and few opportunities being missed to get necessary consistent amounts of sunlight.
A plethora of life-threatening diseases, chronic illnesses, and acute illnesses may be avoidable. If we understand how the absence of vitamin D could be detrimental to our overall health, people no matter what ethnicity or complexion may just have a chance. If you’re told that most everyone has low vitamin D, don’t accept that. If you hear that there’s nothing to worry about, don’t accept that either. Again, you’re responsible for your health-end of discussion. If you’re not looking out for your optimal wellness, who will? NORMAL VITAMIN D LEVELS LOWER RISKS OF THE FOLLOWING:
Some cancers (e.g. ovarian, colon, breast, prostate)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Autoimmune Diseases and Conditions (e.g. arthritis, eczema, gluten sensitivity)
The Flu (influenza)
Wheezing and respiratory infections
Memory Loss (brain fog)
Bone Fractures or Bone Conditions
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER WHO’S AT RISK FOR LOW VITAMIN D OR BORDERLINE VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY?
Blacks, people of color, the elderly population, vegetarians/vegans, children, and people with poor diets or lack of
daily nutrition. WHAT SHOULD NORMAL VITAMIN D LEVELS BE? It is suggested to be in the 40-80 ng/mL range and never below 40ng/mL if at all possible. Absolutely never under a blood level of 25. As mine, was at a whopping, shall I add hellacious level 6, several years ago! However, we will save that miraculous story for later posts. In closing, I reiterate, the only way to accurately know is through the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. This will help you take proper steps to keep it regulated. If your health insurance allows you to take this test two- four+ times per year, do it. If you can financially afford to pay for the test partially, or out of pocket, do it! Remember, it’s your health and to me, that’s ultimate wealth.
WHAT ARE SOME SOURCES OF VITAMIN D? Aside from the best which is ultimately “natural sunlight”, you can get vitamin D from a
variety of foods, including Orange Juice with calcium and Vitamin D, egg yolks, oily fish
(such as salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and carp), fish liver oil, some cereals, mushrooms, and milk- if you’re not lactose intolerant or only drink non-dairy milks for personal food choices.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D SHOULD A PERSON’S DAILY INTAKE BE? Even if you get vitamin D from the sources above, you still may need a synthetic
supplementation, from a daily intake of 500 iu- 5,000iu, in over the counter (OTC).
Or in my case, a written prescription of 50,000iu in for either weekly or biweekly intake.
This should be discussed and regulated by your physician, neurologist or other specialist.
** ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN(S) AND/OR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE TAKING SUPPLEMENTS, INCORPORATING HOLISTIC, NATURAL ALTERNATIVES OR STARTING ANY FITNESS-WORKOUTS OR NUTRITIONAL
PROGRAMS. KellyG, PT, and ALL ASSOCIATES to PK ENTERTAINMENT VENTURES, LLC (PKEV), ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE. THIS INFORMATION, IS ALL FOR ENTERTAINMENT, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES, AND SOME MAY ALSO BE OPINIONS, ETC. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.