One of the joys of growing older is that you gain more and more experience. Call it wisdom, if you like. But, if there’s one thing that many of us lose as we grow older then it is optimum amounts of some of the key vitamins that keep us healthy.
According to two new studies, being deficient in vitamins D, B12 and K could put you into a “danger zone”, especially if you are moving on in years.
Give me a “D”, “B12” and a “K”
After analysing the blood samples of 1,000 elderly patients, German researchers found that 1 in 4 of the participants had a deficiency in vitamin B12.
We know that vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function, brain health and the formation of new red blood cells. So, just in terms of neurological function and brain health, you can see why this vitamin is so important for older patients.
The researchers also found that more than 50 per cent of the participants had depleted levels of vitamin D, which is crucial for strong bones, immunity and blood sugar control.
In another study, Dutch researchers analysed the blood levels of over 4,000 people for another bone-strengthening nutrient: vitamin K.
Half of the elderly participants in the study lacked enough K, as did those with conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K plays a role in keeping your arteries flexible and preventing the “calcification” that can stiffen them.
The researchers also discovered that those participants who were deficient in vitamin K were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
A healthy and balanced diet, which includes nutrient-dense foods like meat, egg yolks, and leafy greens, can supply a steady stream of these essential vitamins. But as we age, your body can struggle to absorb nutrients from your food.
Luckily, all you may need to do to get what you’re lacking is take a good daily multivitamin. Talk to a doctor who’s well-versed in integrative medicine about the right dosages for you. Simply following the recommended dosage guidelines won’t be of much benefit, because they require the bare minimum. You want optimum levels of these essential vitamins.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Vitamin deficiency in later life, published online, sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171215111605.htm
Nutrients, Volume 9, issue 12, 1334, doi: 10.3390/nu9121334
“Prevalence and Effects of Functional Vitamin K Insufficiency: The PREVEND Study”Authors: Ineke J. Riphagen, Stephan J.L. Bakker