vitamin d as you age...

Low vitamin D levels in older individuals may contribute to the declining ability to live independently.  Vitamin D supplementation could provide a way to prevent physical decline, but the idea needs to be explored further with additional studies. 

Stair-climbing and other everyday tasks were harder for those with a vitamin D deficiency researchers found. Older people with vitamin D deficiency struggled with daily physical activities such as dressing or climbing stairs.

It is estimated that as many as 90% of older people are vitamin D-deficient. The vitamin, usually absorbed through sunlight or diet, plays a key role in bone and muscle health, and a deficiency can lead to reduced bone density, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and broken bones.

Volunteer’s vitamin D levels were checked nd they were asked to do routine tasks, such as sitting down and standing up from a chair or walking outside for five minutes without resting. Among participants aged 65 to 88 those with the lowest vitamin D levels were 1.7 times as likely to have at least one physical limitation as those with the highest vitamin D levels. Among participants aged 55 to 65 those with the lowest vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have at least one physical limitation as those with the highest vitamin D levels.

In the older age group 70% of those with the lowest vitamin D levels had at least one physical limitation, whilst most of those with moderate or high vitamin D levels had no physical limitations.

People with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to develop additional physical limitations over time. This occurred over three years among people in the older age group and over six years among those in the younger age group.

Seniors who have low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have mobility limitations and to see their physical functioning decline over time. Older individuals with these limitations are more likely to be admitted to nursing homes and face a higher risk of mortality.

» Recommended supplement: Vitamin D3.
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