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

A grandmother needs strong bones most of all.

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 Danute.

Danute is a 59-year-old woman who lives and works in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. Now that both her kids are over 25 years old, she tries to spend more time focusing on herself and well-being. Despite Danute's busy work schedule, she manages to do this by attending occasional yoga classes, avoiding heavy foods, spending time outside taking care of her flowers, and chasing around and playing with her 2-year-old grandchild.

As an active woman over the age of 50, it's important for her to maintain strong bones, as bones become more brittle as we age, and are susceptible to breakage. 

To help keep her bones strong, Danute needs plenty of Calcium. In fact, people over 50 require the second-highest calcium intake, right after teenagers, to keep their bone mass as they age.

The recommended daily dose of calcium for both men and women Danute's age is 1,200 milligrams (mg). That’s about four cups of milk.

Milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, but Danute's diet doesn't include many dairy products.

"Unless you count that little splash of milk in my morning coffee," she says.

Fortunately, she does eat lots of greens, and according to the Nation Osteoporosis Foundation, vegetables such as broccoli, kale, bok choy, and collard greens are also great sources of calcium.

It's so important for Danute to have these keep calcium-rich foods and supplements in her diet, because if she doesn't get enough of the mineral, her bones will start to deteriorate. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that nearly half of women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis, and Caucasian women are more likely to suffer from it.

Some 99 percent of our calcium is found in either bones or teeth, and our bodies cannot produce new calcium. The same rule applies to all men and women, so it's important as they age to get the proper amount in their diets.

Furthermore, the percentage of calcium absorbed from food decreases every year as we age.

Basically, the older we get, the more kale we should eat!

Danute is not the only person who needs calcium, however. Four-year-old Aldeir from Panama also needs it. Click on Aldeir's photo, highlighted in purple, to find out how the two of them are connected by their vitamin need, 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.

Statements about vitamin deficiencies, the benefits of calcium and recommended doses are not endorsed by or representative of opinions from Vitamin Angels.

Vitamin Angels Photos © Matt Dayka/Vitamin Angels