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Study: Vitamin D may prevent muscle loss in elderly

According to a recent study, vitamin D may not only help people fight off COVID and other respiratory diseases such as the cold and the flu, it may also prevent muscle loss as people age.

Study Finds reports:

According to studies, upwards of 40 percent of U.S. adults may be deficient in vitamin D. Researchers, exploring vitamin D in muscle performance of older people, examined a mouse model over a period of three months. […]

After feeding the mice a diet deficient in vitamin D for three months, researchers discovered significant muscle impairment in their subjects. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial function dropped by up to 37 percent. However, study authors say neither the number of mitochondria nor a reduction in muscle mass contributed to muscle impairment.

Instead, the findings point to vitamin D deficiency damaging mitochondrial function — the energy producers of the muscle cells. Therefore, preventing vitamin D deficiency in older people may help maintain muscle performance and reduce the risk of muscle-related diseases such as sarcopenia.

READ: Vitamin D deficiency may damage muscle function, especially in older adults

It is known as the sunshine vitamin, because sunlight converts cholesterol in the human body to vitamin D. However, during the winters months, not only is their less sunlight and lower sun intensity, but people tend to be outside less and as a result have lower levels of vitamin D.

Perhaps, not coincidentally fall and winter are also typically known as the cold and flu season.

A sampling of what studies have shown about vitamin D:

READStudy confirms vitamin D protects against colds and flu

READ: Another reason to take vitamin D: People on a daily dose are 17% less likely to develop late-stage cancer and face lower odds of death, study finds

READCOVID-19 patients who get enough vitamin D are 52% less likely to die of the infection, study finds

READVitamin D levels may impact COVID-19 mortality rates, study claims

Studies also revealed that people in nursing homes have very low levels of vitamin D because they are rarely outside, even in the summer. This may explain why they are particularly vulnerable to COVID. READPeople with low levels of Vitamin D may be more likely to catch coronavirus and die from COVID-19 infection, study suggests

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