– A guest post from Home Instead Senior Care

Studies done on Irish adults aged 50+ have shown that that there is a chronic deficiency of Vitamin D in this age group. The EFSA ( European Food Safety Authority) has confirmed the importance of taking Vitamin D to help reduce the risk of falling and fractures in older people (60+).
The primary source of Vitamin D is sunshine but given Ireland’s northerly latitude and constant cloud cover, unfortunately, sunshine does not make an appearance here for many months of the year!
Many people are aware that Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium by the body.  However,  it also affects muscle function and strength.  As we age, it becomes more difficult to obtain and make Vitamin D – an elderly person has a significantly reduced capacity to produce Vitamin D in the body by comparison to a younger person.
Gaye Godkin, Consultant Nutritionist to Home Instead Senior Care, advises that the best sources of dietary Vitamin D in the diet include:
  • Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout
  • • Lambs liver
  • • Eggs
  • • Mushrooms
  • • Tinned fish such as sardines
  • • Cheese, yoghurt, butter and fortified milk
Gaye recommends a diet high in both fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and fresh tuna) and tinned fish as it has other  health benefits also.   But – relying on food sources will not provide sufficient Vitamin D daily.    Gaye tells us, “National nutrition surveys have shown that the consumption of Vitamin D from food  is very low –  ranging from 144iu to a maximum of 288iu daily – but the minimum daily requirement to prevent falls and ultimate fractures is between 800iu – 1000iu of Vitamin D.  So, unless enormous amounts of the foods listed above are consumed, this minimum will not be reached without taking a supplement”
“If and when the sun does shine, we all should aim to expose our arms and legs for 15-20 minutes per day or consume a supplement of Vitamin D daily – particularly during the winter months,” she concludes.
– For further information on home care options and more great information, visit www.homeinstead.ie.

– See more at: https://seniorcare2017.wpengine.com/blog_information/12-05-08/Older_People_need_Vit_D_to_help_avoid_falls_fractures.aspx#sthash.JlqGNJUw.dpuf