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Low Levels of Vitamin D Place Seniors at Higher Alzheimer’s Risk

As a leading provider of Boca Raton Alzheimer’s home care, we’re always looking for the latest in how to prevent and slow the progression of the disease. This week, we stumbled across an international study published in the Journal Neurology which reports that seniors with too little vitamin D in their blood may be up to twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

The Sunshine Vitamin

For most people, sunlight is their primary source for vitamin D, but the vitamin is found in fatty fish such as salmon and in foods like fortified cereals and milk products as well. A fat-soluble nutrient, vitamin D is stored in the body and works with calcium to build and maintain strong bones. It’s also involved with moderating cell growth, regulating the immune system and controlling inflammation.

Vitamin D Deficiency Health Effects

Seniors are particularly prone to vitamin D deficiencies because as the body ages, it becomes less effective at converting the vitamin into a form that the body can use. Several studies have linked this vitamin deficiency with an increased risk for developing atrial fibrillation, diabetes, neurological disorders and even cancer.

The new international study published in the Journal Neurology looked at blood samples collected from 1,600 mentally healthy adults over age 65 and found that participants with low levels of vitamin D were 1.7 times more likely to develop dementia. Those with severe deficiencies increased their risk for dementia by up to 125 percent.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Adults age 70 and older need at least 800 international units of vitamin D but no more than 4,000 units. Most experts advise against taking vitamin D supplements as too much of the nutrient can be dangerous for your health, too. Surprisingly, a short 10-minute walk in the sunshine is a healthier option. Seniors can also schedule a visit with their doctor who can perform a simple blood test to determine whether vitamin D intake is sufficient.

If you are concerned about the health and wellness of an aging parent or loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Boca Raton today. While we are known as the Boca Raton live-in home care specialists, we also provide hourly care on a flexible schedule. Our clients have the freedom to create their own care schedules and we never require any long-term contracts.

Visit www.homecareassistancebocaraton.com or call us at 561-826-9282 and find out how our experienced in-home caregivers can help promote safety, comfort and quality of life for your aging loved one.