Sponsored By

HEAP takes a leap at vitamin D deficiency in BIPOC community

Health Equity & Advocacy Project (HEAP) just launched, its mission to educate and inspire Blacks and other melanin-challenged populations to get their vitamin D levels up to healthy. Their lives may depend on it.

Todd Runestad

March 15, 2021

ToddCast Episode 4: The merging of #BLM with COVID has created a moment where the Black community’s health outcomes with the pandemic is worse than most—as are vitamin D blood levels, and a slew of published research over the past year has shown at least a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Brian Terry, national sales manager at Nordic Naturals, saw opportunity. He sat down with Insider senior editor Todd Runestad to discuss:

  • That an incredible 82% of Blacks are vitamin D deficient, compard to 63% Latinx and 31% White. What can vitamin D do to help peoples’ health status?

  • Why supplementation is the only realistic solution.

  • Terry is a Black man in a White industry. What has his experience been—are natural products people really full of peace and love?

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for NaturalProductsInsider.com and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for NewHope.com, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


"There is not a colds-and-flu season. There is a vitamin D-deficiency season."

"There is no such thing as inclement weather. Only improper attire."

Link answers question, "When taking magnesium, should you also take vitamin D3 2,000 IU?"

"Cannabis is nature's most nearly perfect plant."

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like