Vitamin D Deficiency in Older Adults May Increase Death Risk
A new study conducted by Oregon State University researchers shows that older adults with low vitamin D levels have greater risk of death.
The study was recently published online in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers analyzed data from over 4,300 Americans older than 60 and found that those with low vitamin D levels are 30% more at risk of death. Additionally, frail elderly are found to be two times more likely to die than those older adults who are not frail.
In a university news release, the lead author of the study, nutritional epidemiologist Ellen Smit, noted the significance of assessing “vitamin D levels in older adults, and especially among people who are frail.”
Although the researchers were unable to establish the link between vitamin D deficiency in older people and its potential impact to frailty, they said it “may not be important.”
“This is an important finding because we already know there is a biological basis for this,” she concluded. “Vitamin D impacts muscle function and bones, so it makes sense that it plays a big role in frailty.”
Vitamin D is known to provide calcium balance in the body which helps prevent osteoporosis or arthritis. It also helps regulate blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, and relieves body aches. Exposure to sunlight has long been recognized as one way to obtain vitamin D. Similarly, people can get their sufficient dose of vitamin D through supplements and foods like fish, cod liver oil, milk, fruits, vegetables, and eggs.
Tags: lack of vitamin D, vitamin D benefits, vitamin D sources