Home Life Style Bone Fractures among Seniors Can Be Prevented By Vitamin D with Calcium

Bone Fractures among Seniors Can Be Prevented By Vitamin D with Calcium

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Vitamin D

 Vitamin D is a vitamin which is essential to the body. This unique vitamin can be manufactured by the body from sunlight exposure. The main function of vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell to cell communication throughout the body.

Vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin after exposure to sunlight. Thus even if we do not take in supplements, we can be assured of Vitamin D intake through constant exposure to sunlight. However, vitamin D deficiency can still happen, especially in people who have darker skin pigmentation or who frequently wear sun protection during outdoor activities. There are five forms of vitamin D: vitamin D1, D2, D3, D4, D5. The two forms that seem to matter to humans the most are vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).

Vitamin D is biologically inert and has to undergo two hydroxylation reactions to become active in the body. The active form of vitamin D in the body is called Calcitriol (1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol). Calcitriol functions to promote the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food in the gut and reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys. This hormone increases the flow of calcium in the bloodstream. This is essential for the normal mineralization of bone and preventing hypocalcemic tetany. Hypocalcemic tetany is caused by low calcium levels in the body and can cause symptoms such as overactive neurological reflexes, spasms of the hands and feet, cramps and spasms of the voice box (larynx). Aside from this function, calcitriol is also active in the maintenance of other organ systems in the body.

Vitamin D is especially needed by the body for the formation, growth, and repair of bones and for normal calcium absorption and immune function. Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with reduced risks of colorectal cancer; however, the research results overall have been inconsistent. Vitamin D is important for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous which have a variety of functions in the human body such as the maintenance of healthy bones. It also regulates the immune system and reduces the risk for multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D also helps maintain cognitive function in the body especially during old age. This vitamin also helps maintain a healthy body weight, helps reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms, helps reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women, protects from radiation damage, lowers the risk for cancers, helps people recover from tuberculosis more rapidly, and decreases the risk for heart disease.

People aged 1 to 70 years old need about 600 IU/day (15 ?g/day) of vitamin D; this includes pregnant or lactating women. People who are more than 71 years of age need about 800 IU/day (20 ?g/day) of vitamin D.

Vitamin D with Calcium Helps Prevent Bone Fractures

An updated review from the Cochrane Library has shown that in people who are over the age of 65 years old, taking vitamin D with calcium in the form of supplements every day can offer some protection against the risk of common bone fractures. Cochrane reviewers evaluated 53 studies with 91,791 participants to determine whether supplements with vitamin D alone or vitamin D supplements with additional calcium offered the best protection against fractures. Seniors were given either vitamin D supplements, including D2 and D3; vitamin D with calcium; or a placebo. The researchers found out that supplements of vitamin D alone are unlikely to lower the risk of hip fractures for older people. Supplements of vitamin D with calcium did, however, reduce the risk of hip fractures in nine of the studies. Among low-risk seniors who live in the community, those who consumed vitamin D with calcium had one less hip fracture per 1,000 older adults per year. For seniors living in high-risk environments of nursing homes and hospitals, there were nine less hip fractures per 1,000 older adults per year.

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