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Vitamin D Could Be The Next Big Nutrient Deficiency Especially For Seniors

January 12, 2010

Newsflash recently reported on the possible role of vitamin D in cardiovascular disease prevention and it’s widely known as a co-star with calcium for bone building and protection. Vitamin D may also have a wider role than previously thought, including fighting the inflammation that can cause gum disease, according to Dr. Mark Ryder, chair of the division of periodontology at the UCSF School of Dentistry, one of the experts quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article by reporter Erin Allday. As vitamin D’s abilities are uncovered, so is the fact that people aren’t getting enough of it, especially as we age and the need for bone conservation rises. Only two-thirds of us may be getting the current RDA, which some experts feel is too low to begin with. The chief source of vitamin D is sun exposure, which most of us now avoid because of the skin cancer risk. A few foods supply it, but it would be hard to eat them in the quantities needed. Except for vitamin D fortified milk, which should be a bigger part of a daily diet for the D, calcium and protein. Choose skim (or 1 percent if you must) to avoid the saturated fat and find ways to add it to your diet—with cold or hot cereal, in low-fat pudding, even to “cream” vegetables. Talk to your doctor about taking a 1000 IU supplement a day—anecdotally some people say they feel more energized when they do. For more, see tomorrow's featured story from Dr. Chris Iliades.