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Many women who become frail in their old age dismiss the condition as a natural part of growing older. However, vitamin D testing could point to a cause of the problem, which may enable them take steps to improve their condition, according to a new study.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in aging individuals, particularly in women. It has been well established that low levels of the nutrient contribute to common symptoms of frailty, including weakness and slowness. What was surprising about the findings of the present study is that extremely high levels of vitamin D were also associated with frailty.
Researchers said that awareness of the dangers of vitamin D deficiency have grown tremendously in recent years. For most individuals, this has resulted in an effort to maintain healthy levels of the nutrient. However, some may go overboard and increase their intake beyond what is healthy.
"Vitamin D supplementation has grown in popularity, yet the association between vitamin D status and risk of adverse health outcomes in older adults is uncertain," said Kristine Ensrud, who led the study. In fact, higher levels of vitamin D were associated with increased likelihood of frailty."
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