Vitamin deficiency: Every second person over 65 has too little vitamin D in the blood
The “Study on Adult Health in Germany” recently showed that the supply of vitamin D in Germany is inadequate. Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München are now pointing out that it is older people in particular who are affected. According to the experts, every second person over the age of 65 has too little vitamin D in their blood. In addition, every fourth person has a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Many seniors suffer from a vitamin D deficiency
The body needs vitamin D above all for its bone metabolism. However, as scientific studies show time and again, many Germans suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Senior citizens are particularly affected. A study within the Augsburg population study KORA-Age has now come to the conclusion that every second person over 65 has too little vitamin D in the blood. In addition, every fourth person has a vitamin B12 deficiency, as the authors of the Helmholtz Zentrum München report in the specialist magazine "Nutrients".
Providing older people with vitamins
Cooperative Health Research in the Augsburg Region (KORA) has been studying the health of thousands of citizens from the Augsburg area for over 30 years.
The aim is to understand the effects of environmental factors, behavior and genes on health.
"In this context, we were also interested in the supply situation of older people with micronutrients such as vitamins," explains study leader PD Dr. Barbara Thorand from the Institute for Epidemiology (EPI) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in a message.
"The study situation in Germany has so far been relatively thin," said the expert.
Vitamin B12 undersupply
Accordingly, the scientists examined blood samples from a total of 1,079 KORA participants between the ages of 65 and 93 years. In their analysis, they concentrated on the amounts of vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron.
"The results are very clear," says lead author Romy Conzade. "52 percent of the subjects were below the limit value for vitamin D of 50 nmol / L and are therefore suboptimally supplied."
And the scientists also identified a significant undersupply for the other parameters:
The vitamin B12 values of 27 percent of the participants were below the target, the iron value was too low at 11 percent and just under nine percent had too little folic acid in the blood.
EPI Director Prof. Dr. Annette Peters categorized the data: “The current study can use blood analyzes to confirm the critical result of the last National Consumption Study II, which resulted in insufficient micronutrient intake through food. This is a highly relevant topic, especially with regard to our aging society. "
Regular intake of vitamin supplements
What most people with undersupply had in common was a very old age, lack of exercise and frailty.
In these groups, particular attention should therefore be paid to possible undersupply of micronutrients, the researchers explain.
Vitamin D is normally produced in the body with the help of sun rays. It is therefore important to soak up the sun in the warm months. This is hardly possible in the cold season. As a result, many people take nutritional supplements.
Thorand also explains that her study shows "that the regular intake of vitamin preparations goes hand in hand with a better supply of the corresponding vitamins."
However, dietary supplements with vitamin D are not advisable for everyone, experts from the Lower Saxony Chamber of Pharmacists recently warned.
And the drug commission of the German Medical Association (AkdÄ) pointed out that an overdose with vitamin D supplements can also occur.
Thorand also restricts: "However, taking vitamin preparations is not a panacea and older people in particular should pay particular attention to a healthy and nutritious diet." (Ad)