Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lack of vitamin D tied to disability

New studies have revealed that lack of vitamin D may lead to disability in the elderly, causing a lack of movement in their muscle function.

According to the study, about 25 percent of people over the age of 60 have low levels of vitamin D since they tend to get less exposure of sunlight and their skin is less efficient in producing vitamin D from sun exposure.

Researchers studied 976 Italians aged 65 and older and found that those with low levels of vitamin D scored five percent to 10 percent lower in tests of physical performance and grip strength, HealthDay News reported.

While it is currently recommended that elderly people should take 400 international units of vitamin D per day, researchers suggest that this may not be enough.

Vitamin D is needed for the preservation of muscle strength and physical function as well as cancer prevention. The main sources of vitamin D are sun exposure, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna fish, milk, eggs, liver and margarine.