With an estimated 1 billion people in the world who have been diagnosed with inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, the deficiency of this essential compound continues to be a global epidemic. Vitamin D is loaded with health benefits that go above and beyond what some other vitamins can provide. It is our primary source of essential chemical elements, such as calcium, magnesium and iron, and also serves the body through increasing bone strength, modulating cell growth and improving overall immune system functioning. The consequences of not obtaining a sufficient amount of vitamin D in our bodies become more severe the older we get. Here are a few of the ways receiving adequate measurements of the compound can improve your health the older you get.

Preventing falling by boosting balance
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three adults aged 65 or older endure a severe fall every year, with falling being attributed to one of the leading causes of fatal injuries for seniors, especially with elderly women. One of the proven ways supplying more vitamin D to your body can impact your health is by enhancing balance which in turn decreases the likelihood of taking a spill.

Researchers at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, in Nedlands, Australia, analyzed 302 women aged 70 to 90 years, to see whether their vitamin D levels impacted their likelihood of falling. Those who were administered with 1,000 international units of vitamin D2 per day were able to decrease their risk of falling by nearly 20 percent, compared to those who were not provided with vitamin D supplements. Eliminating the risk of tumbling can also decrease the odds of more severe internal injuries taking place, such as broken bones, hip fractures or head traumas.

Fighting against osteoporosis
The calcium that is absorbed through vitamin D is not just a great source for strengthening bones, but can also prevent osteoporosis, a disease that affects more than 40 million adults in the United States. Osteoporosis is the development of an inefficiency in the bones that means not enough calcium is produced to effectively maintain adequate levels of bone density. While studies have rarely found proof that increasing your vitamin D intake will actively cure this disease, the Vitamin D Council suggests that receiving more of the compound will ultimately slow down the rate of bone loss, and work with prescribed medication to combat against osteoporosis.

Obtaining vitamin D
Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is naturally produced from sunlight and is absorbed through the skin. However, aging generally obstructs our skin’s ability to efficiently utilize vitamin D, which can also be alluded to significant decreases in time spent outdoors. It is important for seniors to continue making sure they are receiving their recommended daily dosage of the compound, which is 600 international units for those 70 years or younger, while 800 IUs for those older than 70, according to the National Institute of Health. Here are a few proficient sources of vitamin D and how many units they contain:

  • 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil = 1,360 IUs
  • 3 ounces of cooked salmon = 447 IUs
  • 3 ounces of canned tuna = 154 IUs
  • 1 cup of nonfat milk = 124 IUs
  • 6 ounces of fortified yogurt = 80 IUs

These are just a few of the sufficient sources of the compound that can help improve your quality of life and keep you living healthy and prosperous. Make sure you are not at risk for vitamin D deficiency and start monitoring your intake levels.

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