People over 65 are much more prone to develop vitamin D deficiency because of various risk factors including decreased dietary intake, diminished sunlight exposure, reduced skin thickness, decreased intestinal absorption and other issues. One of the dangers of having a vitamin D deficiency is muscle weakness, which can lead to functional impairment and even falls. Lack of vitamin D can also increase the risk of osteoporosis and dangerous bone fractures. Since proper vitamin D levels are so important, if you are over 60 you should have your vitamin D level checked by your doctor. If your levels are not sufficient, they can be corrected by changes in diet or by vitamin D supplements. Current recommendations for people ages 50 to 69 are approximately 800 international units (IUs) of vitamin D per day. For those over age 70, 600-800 IUs per day are recommended. However, your provider may suggest an alternate dose based on your blood levels and risk factors. So make sure you are receiving enough vitamin D – it’s an important way to keep your bones and muscles strong as you get older.
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