Vitamin D over 50 is critical in ensuring that we get enough calcium into our bodies, however, how much do we actually know about it, and why is it important for Australians over the age of 50 to take notice?
We’ve asked Sharon Natoli, Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Founding Director of Food & Nutrition Australia to share her five fast facts about vitamin D for winter:
- Vitamin D is produced as a result of the action of ultraviolet radiation from the sun on the skin’s surface. Spending time outdoors in the middle of the day with some skin uncovered during winter is an easy way to increase your levels, but be cautious during the summer months when the UV index and risk of skin cancer is higher.
- Muscle weakness can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency, and for older adults, can increase the risk of osteoporosis, falls and fractures. In Australia, women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis because of the rapid drop in the hormone oestrogen during menopause. In fact, osteoporosis affects more than 1 in 5 women.
- Consuming foods such as oily fish, mushrooms, eggs, yoghurt and milk are an alternate and easy way of getting more vitamin D. Look for foods and milks that are fortified with vitamin D, an example is Pauls PhysiCAL milk, to help boost dietary intake, in turn helping with calcium absorption.
- An estimated 31 per cent of adults in Australia have inadequate vitamin D levels, which increases to more than 50 percent in women during the winter and spring months and in people residing in southern states.
- It’s important to be aware of the increased need for Vitamin D for over 50s. The recommended daily intake for men and women between the age of 51 to 70 years is 10 micrograms, and increases to 15 micrograms a day for men over the age of 70.