Low vitamin D levels predict nursing home admission
The results of study conducted in the Netherlands, published in the September, 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that having a low level of serum vitamin D is associated with a greater risk of being admitted to a nursing home within six years, and may increase the risk of dying within a similar amount of time.
Marjolein Visser and colleagues at Vrije University in Amsterdam used data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, a prospective study of 3,107 men and women aged 55 to 85 upon enrollment between 1992 and 1993, who were examined after 3, 6 and 9 years of follow up. The current study included 1,260 participants over the age of 65 who participated in the first follow up.
Stored serum samples analyzed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) between 1997 and 1998 were classified as deficient (under 25 nanomoles per liter), insufficient, borderline, or normal (greater than or equal to 75 nanomoles per liter). Over the six year period, 138 participants were admitted to nursing homes. Between the beginning of the study and April, 2003, there were 380 deaths.
There were 58 nursing home admissions among participants with deficient levels of vitamin D compared to 5 among those whose vitamin D levels were normal. Adjusted analysis found that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of nursing home admission by more than three times the risk experienced by those with normal levels. Vitamin D insufficient and borderline patients also experienced greater risk. Additionally, the risk of dying during the designated period was increased by vitamin D deficiency. After adjustment for age, gender, and education, vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 61 percent greater risk of death compared to that of participants whose vitamin levels were normal, however, this risk did not appear to be significant after further adjustment for health, lifestyle, and frailty.
The authors suggest that the greater risk of nursing home admission among individuals with deficient and insufficient vitamin D levels could be due to their increased muscle weakness and risk of falls, as well as a greater risk of osteoporosis. “Lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations in older men and women are associated with a greater risk of future nursing home admission and may be associated with a greater mortality risk,” the authors conclude. “These results could indicate that lower vitamin D concentrations may specifically affect the level of independence in old age.”
The premise of taking actions to maintain youthful health and vigor is based on findings from peer-reviewed scientific studies that identify specific factors that cause us to develop degenerative disease. These studies suggest that the consumption of certain foods, food extracts, hormones, or drugs will help to prevent common diseases that are associated with normal aging.
Therefore, the concept of disease prevention can be defined as the incorporation of findings from published scientific studies into a logical daily regimen that enables an individual to attain optimal health and longevity.
With new health findings being touted daily, consumers are often confused about what they should be doing to maintain optimal health. Each year, the Life Extension Foundation reviews the published scientific literature and compiles a listing of the best-documented life-extending nutrients, hormones, and drugs.
When deciding on the Top 10 most important components, the foremost factor we consider is the preponderance of scientific data that substantiates the benefits of a particular nutrient, drug, or hormone. We also look at the cost-to-benefit ratio. That means we sometimes rule out components that are too expensive in relationship to lower cost items that may show equal efficacy. Convenience is also an important factor. We seek to provide the maximum amount of potency in the fewest possible capsules, tablets, etc.
Vitamin D is necessary for utilization of calcium and phosphorus and in many ways acts as a hormone.78-80 The two most important forms of vitamin D are cholecalciferol (D3), which is derived from our own cholesterol and ergocalciferol (D2), a plant analogue derived from the diet. The cholecalciferol supplied by the Life Extension Buyers Club is synthetic, but its form is identical to that which is derived from cholesterol and synthesized by sunlight on the skin. Cholecalciferol Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and maintenance of bone density.
Doctors used to be concerned that too much vitamin D could be toxic. Over the past few years, however, an increasing body of evidence indicates that it takes much higher doses of vitamin D (perhaps over 10,000 IU/day) to inflict toxicity on a healthy person. The concern expressed by researchers today is that fear of vitamin D toxicity is keeping many people from supplementing with enough vitamin D, which is critical for maintaining bone density. In response to studies showing that even those who take standard vitamin D supplements are not obtaining adequate amounts, Life Extension Mix provides 800 IU vitamin D3 per daily dose.
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