As Harvard Medical School points out “Vitamin D’s best-known role is to keep bones healthy by increasing the intestinal absorption of calcium.” According to their recent article, when humans have a vitamin D deficiency, they can only absorb about 10 – 15% of their dietary intake of calcium, when really, we need at least 30 – 40% to maintain bone health. (Harvard Medical School)
In fact, our bone tissues are broken down and rebuilt all the time – some cells build new bone tissue while others dissolve it to release important minerals. But as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out, “as we get older, we begin to lose more bone that we build… Our bones get less dense.” (NIH) This natural bone loss coupled with a vitamin D deficiency can lead to accelerated deterioration in seniors which is why, during the winter season, we need to be extra diligent about our vitamin D intake.
Why winter? The majority of our vitamin D is produced in the body in response to absorption of UVB rays from the sun. According the U.S. News, shortened days and an increase in indirect rays mean our bodies cannot absorb as many UVB rays as we need to maintain vitamin D production. According to scientists at UC-Davis, most people need to increase their vitamin D intake by 500 percent in the winter months to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. (U.S. News)
To better help you and your loved ones maintain a healthy level of vitamin D and to help protect your bones during the coming winter months, we have put together a few tips we’d like to revisit with you! Read our article Top Reasons Why Vitamin D is a Must for Seniors for a great refresher on the topic! Don’t let shorter days or less sun hold you back from a healthy winter!