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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Higher Risk of Respiratory Illness

Pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses can be fatal when we’re in our later years. A recent study has found that the risk of respiratory illness is increased in mature adults with low levels of vitamin D.

Researchers for this study examined data from the 2005 Health Survey for England, which included 2,070 community-living participants over the age of 65. The found that people with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D (35 nmol/L or less) were twice as likely to develop respiratory disease than those with the highest levels (64 nmol/L or more).

People with 35-48.9 nmol/L were 1.75 times more likely to develop a respiratory illness and those with 49.0-63.9 nmol/L were 1.63 times more likely.

Low vitamin D levels can impair the body’s response to respiratory virus infection in the lung. Ensuring that mature adults have adequate vitamin D levels may increase the incidence of respiratory infection and related complications.

Researchers from University College London conducted the study. It was published on May 6, 2013, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D to be associated with improved kidney health, reductions in the risk of skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. As this study shows, your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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