Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
If you want to stay mentally sharp later in life, you might want to learn more about this vitamin É Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. Research has shown that many or even most older people in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency. A new study from the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that low vitamin D levels may have troubling effects in seniors. The researchers took blood samples from 858 adults ages 65 and older, then gave them tests of their mental function over the next six years. People with a severe vitamin D deficiency were 60 percent more likely to have a major decline on one of the tests compared to people who had sufficient vitamin D. Vitamin D is found in some foods, but people can also get what they need from sunlight. When sunlight hits your skin, it sets off a process in your body that creates vitamin D. However, older people's skin doesn't make the vitamin as efficiently, according to the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Dermatology cautions of the risk of skin cancer with repeated sun exposure.
The NIH points out that people over 50 generally need higher amounts of the vitamin than younger people. Your health care provider can offer guidance on how much vitamin D is necessary, and the best way to get it.
IÕm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.