There has been a growing emphasis on vitamin D as part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, and results of a recent study add more evidence to the benefits of the nutrient. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found an increased mortality risk in adults with lower levels of vitamin D.
To test the role of the nutrient, researchers looked at the blood levels of more than 2,600 subjects between 70 and 79 years old. Then, the team followed up with the subjects every six months to measure their health. Those with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 50 percent greater mortality risk.
"We all know that good nutrition is important to overall health and our study adds to a growing body of literature that underscores the importance of vitamin D and indicates that poor vitamin D nutrition is widespread," said lead researcher Dr. Stephen B. Kritchevsky. "The good news is it's easy to improve vitamin D status either through increased skin exposure to sunlight or through diet or supplements."
The results should encourage senior care providers in charge of meal preparation to make a few different choices. There are a number of foods with high levels of vitamin D, including salmon, certain mushrooms and fortified milks and yogurts.