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.
You'd never know it by looking at her, but this fun-loving 4-year-old from San Diego wasn't always a picture of perky health. Elizabeth was hospitalized with asthma and had frequent attacks before her mom followed a doctor's recommendation that she take multivitamins. As it turns out, that made a world of difference for the preschooler.
One important nutrient for kids with asthma is vitamin D.
Elizabeth can get vitamin D simply by being exposed to sunlight, or consuming foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, and beef. Because of her asthma, however, she must make sure she is getting a proper intake. According to Vitamin D Council, vitamin D has been theorized to reduce inflammation in the airways caused by asthma. By ensuring airways are healthy in her childhood, Elizabeth is improving her symptoms and reducing her risk for an asthma attack. Luckily, she is able to get the right amount of vitamin D by supplementing her diet with multivitamins from Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit that distributes vitamins and minerals to children and mothers in need.
"She used to take four puffs of her inhaler every day and now she's not taking a puff a day. Not even one," her mother says, adding that the only change in lifestyle for her little girl was vitamin supplementation and a healthier diet.
That means not having to give up playtime and the physical activity that kids need in order to grow healthy and strong.
The only person who's happier about Elizabeth's health than she is? Her mom, who's excited to see the effect of vitamins on her daughter's physical growth and health.
In addition to vitamin D, Elizabeth's multivitamins include vitamin E — another important nutrient to make playtime even more safe for Elizabeth. This vitamin help strengthens the immune system and helps to maintain the body's defenses against playground viruses and bacteria. It's found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, and is a fat-soluble, potent anti-oxidant, working to protect the body from free radicals that can lead to cancer and cardiovascular disease — benefits Elizabeth will appreciate later in life.
Since leafy greens aren't exactly known to be a kid's favorite food, vitamin E is easily supplemented with other vitamins in various pills or chewables.
But vitamin E isn't just for kids. Twenty-nine-year-old Jey from France also needs it. Click on Jey's photo, highlighted in orange, 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 vitamin D and E and recommended doses are not endorsed by or representative of opinions from Vitamin Angels.
Vitamin Angels Photos © Matt Dayka/Vitamin Angels