The Benefits of Vitamin D for Older Adults Vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb calcium—downright essential for healthy bone mass and strength. Older adults with a deficiency are far more prone to falls, as well as other health problems like fatigue, joint pain, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis.
Seniors need Vitamin D to promote calcium absorption in their bodies. Without this essential vitamin, bones can become brittle, thin or misshapen. When taken with calcium, Vitamin D helps to protect the elderly from osteoporosis. Vitamin D also modulates immune function and reduces inflammation.
The Institute of Medicine has placed the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin D at 600 international units (IU) per day for young adults and 800 IU per day for adults older than 70.
Because they spend the majority of their time indoors, older adults get minimal exposure to natural sunlight. Additionally, as skin thins with age, vitamin D synthesis becomes much less efficient. Reduced appetite and impaired absorption of nutrients further compound this problem for seniors.
For healthy muscles and bones, you need calcium, vitamin D and protein: calcium keeps our bones and teeth healthy. vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb calcium. protein is important for muscle maintenance.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include muscle weakness, pain, fatigue and depression. To get enough D, look to certain foods, supplements, and carefully planned sunlight. Signs and symptoms might include:
Daily vitamin D was more effective than weekly, and monthly administration was the least effective.
Current guidelines say adults shouldn’t take more than the equivalent of 100 micrograms a day. But vitamin D is a ‘fat-soluble’ vitamin, so your body can store it for months and you don’t need it every day. That means you could equally safely take a supplement of 20 micrograms a day or 500 micrograms once a month.
Excess Vitamin D harms the heart – Study Scientists have long known that low levels of the nutrient can hurt the heart, but new research shows that higher than normal levels can make it beat too fast and out of rhythm, a condition called atrial fibrillation.
Simply adding an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement can make improvements in just three to four months’ time.
Who is at highest risk for vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency, or even just less-than-optimal levels of the sunshine vitamin, can spell trouble for your memory and moods.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These factors are vital for maintaining healthy bones. People need vitamin D to allow the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea and vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination. Vitamin D toxicity might progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones.