Vitamin D Deficiency In Seniors Affects Physical And Mental Tasks
Vitamin D deficiency in seniors results in physical and mental deficits. A recent study by The New York Times found that low vitamin D levels in people over 55 are associated with an inability to perform ordinary tasks of daily life. Indeed, aging brings many challenges. One critical area is that of nutrition. Seniors often don’t get the nutrition they need to maintain good physical and mental health.
Dutch researchers studied two groups of older people, one of 725 men and women aged 55 to 65, and another of 1,237 older than 65, to see if they could walk up or down a 15-step staircase, dress and undress, stand from a sitting position, cut their toenails, walk outside unaided for five minutes, and use their own or public transportation. Then they did blood tests for vitamin D levels.
After controlling for factors including age, physical activity, and chronic diseases, they found that in both groups, a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter was associated with an increased number of disabilities compared with those at the normal level.
Vitamin D: Fights Disease
Vitamin D: Fights Depression
Research shows that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
In another study of people with fibromyalgia (muscle and joint pain and fatigue) , vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.
Vitamin D: Speeds Weight Loss
Adding vitamin D supplements to one’s diet helps to lose weight and also prevent heart disease.
People taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement lost more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The extra calcium and vitamin D may have an appetite-suppressing effect.
In another study, overweight people who took a daily vitamin D supplement improved their heart disease risk markers.
Healthy levels of vitamin D may help to slow the aging process and protect against age-related diseases. Studies have shown that it can help moderate the immune system, control obesity, cardiac stress, and diabetes.