To age healthfully, vitamin D for you is absolutely crucial. Vitamin D deficiency can result when adults don’t get enough from their food or through sun exposure. Some of the symptoms of this condition include the following:
- Cognitive difficulties
- Muscle and joint pain
- Bone softening and more
There is, however, a recommended dose that older adults should consume to avoid the above-stated issues. For adults 71 years of age and older, 800 IU is recommended. For adults under 71 years of age, 600 IU is recommended.
Let’s take a look at how vitamin D can help protect aging adults, some of its common sources, and its benefits.
Getting Enough Vitamin D?
To enjoy the benefits of vitamin D, you can turn to these sources:
- Milk (at least 1 cup daily)
- 3 ounces of cooked salmon
- White mushrooms (four or five sliced)
- Cod liver oil supplements (1 tablespoon daily)
- Sunshine (for colder months, try a UV lamp)
Vitamin D supplements may be recommended by a dietitian or doctor in addition to the above-stated sources.
Oral Health Protection
It can be difficult to manage dental care as we age. Tooth decay, gum disease, and more are likely to occur. Low vitamin D levels can be a prominent cause of tooth loss and decay in older adults. A strong defense can, however, be provided by proper vitamin D intake.
Help Prevent Infections and Possibly Cancer
Turn to vitamin D if you would like to be proactive about your health. It may help prevent everything from the flu to colon cancer. Specifically, the risks of blood cancer (and colon cancer) may be reduced by a healthy vitamin D status.
To help defeat everyday illnesses, you can boost your immune system with the right amount of vitamin D. This can apply to the flu, colds, and other respiratory conditions.
Encourage Bone Health
A condition causing weak and brittle bones referred to as osteoporosis, is a problem for approximately 16% of all older adults. Serious health risks can be associated with the condition, as well as home safety hazards, falls, and more. There is a clear connection between bone health and vitamin D in older adults that helps fend off the softening of bones.
Additionally, taking calcium with the recommended vitamin D dose will provide added effectiveness. There was a 16% reduction in hip fracture risks, when calcium and vitamin D levels were adequate, in a study of 49,000 older adults.
Boost Mental Health and Happiness
To combat elderly depression and other issues, your mental health may also be improved by vitamin D. Depressive symptoms (i.e., restless sleep, lack of enjoyment, loneliness) were linked to low levels of vitamin D in a study of 5600 older adults.
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