Losing muscle as you age can be embarrassing, not to mention dangerous. Besides the fact that it can make it harder to perform daily tasks, it can also increase your likelihood of sustaining an injury, according to Harvard Medical School. To prevent this from becoming a problem that you should deal with sooner rather than later, you want to make sure that you are getting the right vitamins in your diet or through supplements. As a new study has revealed, vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle loss as you age.
The study, which was published in the Calcified Tissue International and Musculoskeletal Research, involved 3,205 UK adults aged 50 or over. At the start of the study, the participants had not yet lost muscle due to aging. However, after four years, those who lacked vitamin D were 70% more likely to have suffered muscle loss. Beyond that, when factors were taken into consideration, such as who was taking vitamin D supplements and who had osteoporosis, the risk for those with vitamin D deficiency at the start of the study is increased to 78% compared to those who took enough. vitamin.
“There is a need to explain to people that they risk losing muscle strength if they don’t get enough vitamin D,” said study co-author Tiago da Silva Alexandre, professor of gerontology at the Federal University of São Carlos, in a press release. . “They need exposure to sunlight, eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking a supplement, and doing strength training to maintain muscle strength.”
“This study helps illuminate another reason why vitamin D is so important to the body,” Dr. Jacob Hascalovici, chief medical officer of Clearing, tells Eat this, not that! “We should all pay close attention to our vitamin D levels as we age because vitamin D helps maintain healthy bones and muscles. When we lose strength or muscle mass, we can fall more easily, we hurt more easily and more seriously and heal more slowly.As the study mentions, vitamin D intake and regular exercise are really important.
As for how much vitamin D you might need, Dr. Hascalovici explains, “For most adults, 600 IU per day is about the right amount. If you’re 71 or older, aim closer to 800 IU per day. you may have unique needs, a doctor or nutritionist can provide more specific advice.”
“It’s important not to exceed 4,000 IU per day because too much vitamin D can contribute to nausea, vomiting, kidney stones, heart damage and cancer,” adds Dr. Hascalovici. “When vitamin D builds up over time, it can lead to calcium-related toxicity.”
Although Dr. Hascalovici says it “is relatively rare”, it “can be avoided by aiming for less than 1,000 IU per day from all sources combined”.
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers, among other things, lifestyle, food and nutrition news. Learn more about Desiree
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