A World Of Good: Global Health In The Eyes Of Christian

The power of calcium.

One thing unites us no matter where we live or how much money we make, and that's a desire to be both happy and healthy.

What's cool about that is, no matter your age, background, or the region where we reside, we all need many of the same vitamins. And how exciting is it knowing you can do your part to make sure others — and you — get what we need to reach optimum health?

Click on any of the photos above to learn about the unique vitamin needs of boys, girls, women, and men all over the world. Though they may differ, we can each learn how we can work toward our individual and common goal of living happy and healthy lives.

Meet Christian.

Christian, a 19-year-old college student at American University with an active lifestyle, spends much of his time studying and socializing with friends.

Many students at American University specialize in public service and are vying for the ultimate government job or international placement. That, on top of living in a bustling city of Washington, D.C. (which also happens to be the nations' capital), can create timely demands for a student — and, sometimes, may cause them to prioritize school over their own health.

That said, like other American college students, Christian is always busy, so he falls victim to snacking in between classes, and heads to the dining hall or a food service station for meals. 

But "whenever I go to the dining hall, I follow a strict diet," Christian tells A Plus. And because college students' time, budgets, and diets are limited, they must make conscious choices to maintain good nutrition.

Vitamin B and calcium are especially important for a man Christian's age. 

Vitamin B helps the body process food and turn it into energy.

This is particularly relevant to Christian, who needs energy to study hard, rock his exams, and power through late nights at the library. Vitamin B is also essential for maintaining brain health, a strong metabolism, and normal levels of red blood cells.  

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include insomnia, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, and increased fatigue, according to Global Healing Center. Both B12 and B6 deficiencies can cause anemia. Christian can get vitamin B from foods such as animal proteins, eggs, dairy products, green vegetables, and beans. 

But in addition to making sure he has access to these foods, Christian must also take into account his calcium intake

Calcium helps maintain bone health and strength. It also regulates heart and muscle function, among other things.

"If the body notices that not enough calcium is circulating in the blood," it will end up sourcing calcium from other places, which could lead to calcium deficiency in the bones, Better Health reports.

For men Christian's age, the recommended dietary intake of calcium is 1,000 milligrams (mg). This can be sourced from milk, yogurt, cheese, soy products, nuts, fish, and even some leafy greens. 

Christian is not the only person who needs vitamin B and calcium. Three-year-old Yesar from Ethiopia needs it, too. Click on Yesar's photo, highlighted in yellow, to find out how the two of them are connected by their vitamin needs, or explore the rest of the profiles below.

Want to help people around the world get access to vitamins? For every purchase, of vitamins and minerals at Walgreens, they will make a donation to Vitamin Angels.