The disturbing reality is that up to three-quarters of Americans suffer from a vitamin D deficiency and most aren’t even aware of it. This is particularly true of older people who don’t get enough exposure to sunlight and who are unable to absorb it as easily as their younger counterparts.
The health consequences of vitamin D deficiency are just starting to be recognized, as the importance of “D” for good health continues to grow. A lack of vitamin D may contribute to a number of medical conditions including osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, depression, muscle aches, and can even increase the risk of catching viruses and upper respiratory infections.
Lack of Vitamin D and the Heart
Now, a new study shows that a lack of vitamin D in older people can increase their risk of heart disease, as well as their overall mortality rate. This study looked at 3,488 people over the age of 65 and followed them for a period of seven years. The results? Those with a vitamin D deficiency were three times more likely to die of heart disease than older people with normal levels. They were also 2.5 times more likely die prematurely from all causes. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause estrogen levels to go up, and more vitamin d helps to block estrogen.
Vitamin D Deficiency is Common
Disturbingly, this study suggests that up to a third of older people have a vitamin D deficiency severe enough to increase their risk of health problems such as heart disease. One Chinese study showed that 94 percent of people over the age of fifty had a documented vitamin D deficiency – a disturbing fact when the health consequences are becoming more apparent each day.
Why Is Lack of Vitamin D so Common?
The primary source of vitamin D for most people is sunlight. Older people, especially those confined to nursing homes, get less exposure to the sun. To get sufficient vitamin D, it’s recommended that people get at least ten to fifteen minutes of direct sunlight several times a week. Even when older people are exposed to sunlight, they aren’t as readily able to convert vitamin D precursors present on the skin into a form the body can use. To make matters worse, there are few good food sources of vitamin D, although more food manufacturers are now fortifying food products with D. Vitamin D is found naturally in fatty fish such as salmon, whole eggs, and beef liver.
Vitamin D Deficiency in Older People: What’s the Solution?
With a lack of vitamin D being so common among older people, those who aren’t getting enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure may need to take a vitamin D supplement. There’s a full dose of vitamin D found in Androsurge Estrogen Blocker, but It’s currently recommended that people over the age of fifty get 400 I.U. per day, while those over seventy need at least 600 I.U. Many experts believe this amount is too low and are recommending 1,000 I.U. or even more. The established upper limit that’s deemed to be safe is 2,000 I.U. per day.
The Bottom Line?
A lack of vitamin D is quite common in older people and may increase their risk of a variety of health problems including heart disease. The best approach? Get vitamin D levels checked and take a regular supplement if they’re too low and make sure anyone over the age of fifty gets their level checked too.