In the December edition of the Nutrients magazine, the results of German scientists’ research on a significant amount of vitamin D deficiency in the elderly population (over 65) were published.
This study analyzed data from 1079 participants, aged 65 to 93, from the Cooperative Health Research study in the Augsburg-Age region (KORA-Age) from 2008/2009. KORA Cooperative Health Research assessed the health of thousands of people living in Augsburg in southern Germany over the past 30 years to understand the impact of environmental factors, lifestyle, and genetics on their condition. “In this context, we were also interested in studying the level of important micronutrients in older people, including vitamins” – explained lead researcher Barbara Thorand from the Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München. “So far in Germany, data from research on this subject were relatively small and did not fully reflect the facts.”
Blood samples collected in 2009 were analyzed for vitamins B12 and D, folic acid and iron. It was found that half of the respondents have suboptimal levels of vitamin D. “The results are very clear,” reported the first author Romy Conzade. “Fifty-two percent of the older adults tested had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol / L [20 ng / ml], and therefore had a suboptimal vitamin D status.”
In addition, 27.3% of participants had suboptimal levels of vitamin B12, 11% had low levels of iron, and 8.7% inadequate levels of folic acid.
‘Our study also shows that regular intake of vitamin supplements goes hand in hand with improving the levels of the right vitamins,’ says Dr. Thorand.
“Thanks to blood analyzes, this study confirmed the critical results of the last German national nutrition study (NVS II), which revealed inadequate intake and assimilation of micronutrients from food,” said co-author Annette Peters. “This is a very important issue, especially in the light of an aging population. “