24 April 2007

Vitamin D Deficiency

Older men and women who fail to get enough vitamin D --- either from their diets or exposure to the sun --- are at heightened risk for muscle weakness and poor physical performance, a study shows. This is troubling, researchers say, given the high numbers of older folks who are deficient in vitamin D.

In a sample of 976 adults who were 65 or older at the outset, nearly 29 percent of women and 14 percent of men had vitamin D deficiency, determined by measuring blood levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, a frequently used and accurate measure of a person's vitamin D status.

Moreover, 75 percent of women and 51 percent of men had insufficient vitamin D levels.

[Reuters, 23 April 2007]

Not many people know that they can get Vitamin D just by exposing themselves in the sun. The fact that the quoted study above tells us that many older adults are not getting enough Vitamin D tells us that they might be staying indoors most of the time. Old people should not sulk in their homes. They should get some sun daily!

The usual advice for those at risk for osteoporosis is to get their recommended daily allowances for calcium. The advice that gets left behind is that they should also get enough Vitamin D because that helps with calcium absorption. No Vitamin D means no calcium also.

Sun exposure from early mornings from 7 am to 8am as well as from late afternoons from 4pm until sunset are recommended in this day of skin cancers and heat strokes. This time suggestion covers most of the southeast Asian cities. For other world cities, follow the first and last two hours of the day to get your daily sun dose.

Excellent article on Vitamin D here.

1 reactions:

bayi said...

I remember studying this when I was in school. Thanks for reminding me.

Somehow it's not the same now getting in the sun compared to when I was young. Nowadays the sun is really hot, like burning into the skin. I never felt the sun this way when I was young.