Harvard Health Letter

Extra vitamin D may keep you mobile in later years

Older adults who don't get enough vitamin D, either from sun exposure or dietary sources, face higher risks of mobility problems, according to a new study in the Journal of Gerontology. The study found a 30% increased risk of mobility problems in subjects with the lowest blood vitamin D levels. Such a study does not prove that raising blood vitamin D levels would improve mobility, but that is a possibility. Vitamin D plays an important role in muscle function, so low levels may indicate decreased muscular strength and physical performance. Low vitamin D levels are also associated with cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease, which could further contribute to decreased mobility in later years. The researchers conducting the study recommend having your vitamin D levels checked and discussing dietary and supplementary help with your doctor to reach desired levels, particularly in winter, when sun exposure is limited.

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