Vitamin D May Help Treat Age-related Diseases

IANS | March 18, 2015 15:18 IST

The sunshine vitamin can be of great help for people during their sunset years as it may play a vital role in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with ageing, says a study.

The researchers reviewed evidence that suggests an association between Vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases associated with aging such as cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

These findings were published in the Journal of Aging and Gerontology.

"Vitamin D deficiency is a common, serious medical condition that significantly affects the health and well-being of older adults," said one of the authors Sue Penckofer, professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

When the sun shines on our skin, the skin produces Vitamin D. A diet rich in Vitamin D or the intake of Vitamin D supplements can also cover our need to some extent.

Older adults are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency due to diet, reduced time outdoors and poor skin absorption of the nutrient.

"Better understanding the relationship between Vitamin D and chronic diseases in older adults and whether treatment of Vitamin D deficiency can prevent or treat these disorders is important given the increasing number of people at risk for these health issues," researcher Meghan Meehan from MNSON said.

The Institute of Medicine generally recommends that adults up to 70 years of age take 600 IU of Vitamin D daily and adults over the age of 70 consume 800 IU of the nutrient daily.

As the older population continues to grow, universal guidelines for testing and treating Vitamin D deficiency are needed, the study authors concluded.

"Research to examine the proper dosing of Vitamin D supplements necessary to prevent the chronic diseases of ageing also would have significant benefit for future generations," they added.

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