As the 33 rescued Chilean miners adjust to life topside, South Portland-based vitamin company Dr. Newton’s Naturals announced that it donated supplies of vitamin D to the miners while they were trapped some 2,000 feet underground.

Vitamin D, normally absorbed through sunlight, is a crucial vitamin that helps regulate some 3,000 hormones in the human body, said Andrew Majewski, Dr. Newton’s vice president of marketing. Vitamin D deficiency can result in body pain, loss of energy and immune system problems.

Majewski said his firm sent the miners roughly $1,200 of their so-called “sublingual vitamin D-3,” which, unlike other vitamin D supplements, is designed to be dissolved under the tongue, meaning it goes “straight to work.”

Majewski said vitamin D deficiency is common in the United States.  He said some studies show 70 percent to 90 percent of Mainers don’t take in enough of the vitamin.

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