In a new study, researchers found that over 25% of adults aged 50+ are deficient in vitamin D.
The research was conducted by a team from Trinity College Dublin.
Vitamin D has a known role in bone health, with more evidence for health effects on muscle strength and other health conditions.
For example, recent research has shown that vitamin D may be helpful for people diagnosed with colon cancer by increasing their survival rate.
Another study has found that weight loss combined with vitamin D supplements could help reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
In addition, vitamin D and estrogen can work together to prevent metabolic syndrome in older women.
A better understanding of factors causing vitamin D deficiency can help identify people most at-risk.
In their study, the team examined 6004 midlife and older adults living at Northern latitudes (England, 50-55oN).
They found over half (57%) had inadequate serum vitamin D levels, of which 26% were classed as vitamin D deficient.
They identified a profile of older people more likely to be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
The team also found a healthy weight, engaging in regular vigorous physical activity and vitamin D supplement use may help protect against vitamin D deficiency in older people.
They believe the findings are valuable in developing new strategies to prevent vitamin D deficiency (at 30nmol/L) in older populations.
They also suggest that food fortification and other strategies need to be considered at the policy level besides the use of vitamin D supplement.
One author of the study is Associate Professor in Nutrition at Trinity College, Maria O’Sullivan.
The study is published in the international, peer-reviewed journal Nutrients.
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