Saturday, June 12, 2010

1999 Study: Elderly Aucklanders need to supplement with vitamin D

It makes me very angry how little potentially life changing research isn't communicated to the general public. A 1999 study investigated the vitamin D levels in elderly women in aged care. This was their findings:
The prevalence of frank hypovitaminosis (<10 μg/L) was found to be 49% in midwinter and 33% in midsummer.
We are not talking about optimal levels here, we are talking about clinical deficiency. If these levels were present in children they would be highly likely they were developing rickets. We all love our elderly (although sometimes frustrated by them!) and want to provide for them. Part of this care should be supplying them with vitamin D supplements - cause they need it - and we should have started been doing this over a decade ago !

We can either place elderly into the sun with arms and legs exposed for 15 - 30 mins a day (outside of the burn time in summer) or supply them with a high level multivitamin (they often don't eat enough to get even the RDI of vitamins and minerals).

Reference: Sarah J Ley, Caroline C Horwath, Joanna M Stewart. Attention is needed to the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in our older population. NZ medical Journal 

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