A German research study reports that 50% of persons age 65 and over are deficient in Vitamin D and 25% are deficient in Vitamin B12.
The finding isn’t necessarily universal, and the deficiency depends in part on how active the senior is. For example, in climates in which seniors have more exposure to sunlight, the deficiency in Vitamin D is likely to be less frequent. However, as global temperatures rise and people spend more time in air conditioning indoors, the deficiency may increase.
The remedy for this is a healthy diet plus vitamin supplements.
Why do these vitamins matter? In case you don’t recall,
- Vitamin D is essential for bone growth, maintaining bone strength, supports the immune system, and helps manage inflammation.(3)
- Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.(4)
A doctor can examine both with simply blood tests. However, this testing isn’t always included in a normal blood workup — you need to ask.
- Romy Conzade, Wolfgang Koenig, Margit Heier, Andrea Schneider, Eva Grill, Annette Peters, Barbara Thorand. Prevalence and Predictors of Subclinical Micronutrient Deficiency in German Older Adults: Results from the Population-Based KORA-Age Study. Nutrients, 2017; 9 (12): 1276 DOI: 10.3390/nu9121276