Earlier this month, we featured a groundbreaking study indicating that vitamin D, commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, could promote bone health in an unexpected way. In addition to boosting skeletal density by enabling the absorption of calcium, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley – with support from the U.S. Department of Energy – found that vitamin D may also protect older Americans from prematurely losing bone mass as they age.
Now, a new study from the Netherlands has provided further evidence to support vitamin D supplementation, particularly in areas where natural sunlight is not necessarily a constant. According to a press release from The Endocrine Society, researchers from Amsterdam's VU University Medical Center discovered that older Dutch adults with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop mobility issues over a six-year period than individuals with higher amounts of the sunshine vitamin in their systems.
The participants ranged in age from 55 to 88 years old. The disparity between individuals with depleted vitamin D levels was more apparent among the older portion of the group, with signs of disability appearing within three years.
"The findings indicate low vitamin D levels in older individuals may contribute to the declining ability to perform daily activities and live independently," said study author Evelien Sohl. "Vitamin D supplementation could provide a way to prevent physical decline, but the idea needs to be explored further with additional studies."
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