Low Vitamin D Associated with Aging Problems

salmon raw filetsHmm: A recent study has found that low vitamin D levels are associated with an inability to perform ordinary tasks of daily life. Investigators from Holland looked at two groups of older individuals – 725 men and women ages 55-65, and 1,237 older than 65 – to see if they could dress and undress, walk up and down a 15-step staircase, stand from a sitting position, walk outside unaided for 5 minutes, cut their toenails,and us their own or public transportation. They then tests blood levels of vitamin D.

Results: The researchers controlled for potentially confounding factors such as age, physical activity and chronic diseases. They found that in both age cohorts, a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter was associated with a higher number of disabilities compared with those with a normal level of 30 or higher.

My take: This study, while provocative, does not establish causality: That is, while there appears to be an association between vitamin D levels and the ability to accomplish activities of daily living, this study does not prove the low vitamin D is the cause. And so, I have no clue as to whether vitamin D supplements might help you. Before we can recommend the use of vitamin D for the purpose of improving your functional levels, we need a controlled prospective, randomized trial.

As reported online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, by researchers from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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