Vitamin D may be a key to healthier, more active aging. That’s what current studies are trying to determine. Vitamin D plays a role in musculoskeletal, immune, neurological, and cardiovascular health. One recent study in elderly subjects showed an association between higher circulating vitamin D levels and greater long-term health and physical function. Research also suggests that adequate vitamin D nutrition may help protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, certain autoimmune diseases, and other serious conditions.
Nearly 3 out of 4 adults and teens may be deficient in the “sunshine” vitamin. Deficiency risk increases with age, skin pigment, and limited sunlight exposure, and is also associated with diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease or other gastrointestinal disorders—such as fat malabsorption. Current daily intake recommendations (400 IU to 600 IU) are primarily based on bone health, and it has been suggested that higher levels may be necessary to maintain optimal physical function, muscle strength, and other health functions. Several health organizations and nutritional councils are expected to provide revised guidelines for higher daily intake soon. Those with diagnosed deficiencies may require temporary daily doses of up to 5,000 IU.†
A good source of vitamin D may be hard to find. Our bodies manufacture vitamin D3 when skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet-B rays—which can be blocked by both windows and sunscreen. And vitamin D is found naturally only in a few foods (e.g., fish, eggs). That’s why products like milk are vitamin D-fortified, sometimes with the less absorbable vitamin D2 form. Dietary supplements are often recommended, but vary in quality and may be made from vitamin D2 or D3. And D3 supplements may be 3 times more effective than D2 at increasing vitamin D levels in the body. The supplement delivery form and manufacture may also influence absorption potential, so it’s just as important with this “basic” vitamin to seek higher quality for maximum benefits. After all—it may impact your quality of life down the road!
Please visit us at: Innovative Nutrition, 206 Rt. 25A, East Setauket, NY 11733
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