Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vitamin D may increase physical performance for seniors

More vitamin D can put more pep in seniors' steps Reuters/Yahoo!News 6/26/07 "Declining physical performance among some Dutch seniors may not be a simple consequence of aging, it may actually be due to a vitamin D deficiency...study co-author Dr. Paul Lips, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and his colleagues write...vitamin D status is not uncommon among seniors, which may be explained by their decreased exposure to sunshine, reduced dietary consumption of vitamin D, and reduced capacity to naturally synthesize the vitamin. This deficiency is known to result in bone loss and fractures, among other bone and muscle-related problems...nearly half (47 percent) of the seniors had low vitamin D levels at the start of the study, and their deficiency was associated with poorer physical performance than their peers. Over the 3-year study, these vitamin D-deficient adults were also twice as likely as their peers to exhibit a decline in physical performance, such as taking longer to rise from a sitting position..."

More on the many benefits of vitamin D at the Mayo Clinic. I like their grading system - but they might want to upgrade the "C" rating for vitamin D on cancer. I'd bet the researchers studying how vitamin D can help prevent and fight a variety of cancers would expect at least a "B" grade for D. Their rating on muscle strength and physical performance will, if this study holds up, have to be qualified.

Few sites are as comprehensive as Mayo (thanks to their cooperation with Natural Standard) and one can't fault them too much if a few of their grades are a bit out of date in the ever changing world of health science. Although if by next year some grades haven't changed... I'll fault.

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