“The sun,” said Henry Ward Beecher, the acclaimed clergyman and social reformer, “does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”
Sunshine also is the giver of the essential vitamin D, but Mother Nature provides other natural sources.
Why Do Seniors Need It?
Many older adults don’t get enough vitamin D, leading to symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, including bone softening, nausea, cognitive difficulties and frailty. Moreover, studies indicate that low vitamin D concentrations might promote the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, loss of muscle tissue, cancer and other diseases. The recommended daily dose of vitamin D for seniors is 600 IU for those under 71 and 800 IU for those 71 and older.
Link to Depression
The Journals of Gerontology published a study conducted by researchers Cesar de Oliveira Vasant Hirani and Jane P. Biddulph which showed a demonstrated link between low vitamin D levels and elevated depressive symptoms, suggesting that vitamin D deficiency might be a risk factor for late-life depression, particularly among women.
Vitamin D Has Some Bite
Older adults are faced with the challenges of gum disease and tooth decay. Vitamin D provides a strong defense. In a study of 67 dental patients, according to ScienceDirect, those with higher vitamin D levels exhibited a lower likelihood of contracting oral health diseases, the most prominent cause of senior tooth decay and loss.
This recent research has been reaffirmed by many other studies, all of which note the link between vitamin D and the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Mother Earth Giveth Vitamin D
Sunshine is a fantastic source of natural vitamin D, though the sun comes with its own risk factor. Nonetheless, an afternoon walk could kill two birds with one stone. One tablespoon of cod liver oil supplements 170% of daily vitamin D recommendations. Mushrooms are another good source. Four or five sliced white mushrooms make up half of daily vitamin D recommendations. Three ounces of cooked salmon account for more than 80% of necessary vitamin D. Milk is chock full of it, containing 20% of the daily recommended vitamin D value.