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Vitamin D may become particularly important for people as they age, as a new study found that seniors with higher levels of the vitamin remain more mobile and active than seniors with lower levels.
The team of Wake Forrest University researchers tracked thousands of seniors over a period of four years, testing their vitamin D levels and putting them through mild physical tests.
Lead researcher, Denise Houston, said in her report that physical ability declined for all participants over time, but the seniors with higher vitamin D levels were able to perform the tests better than others.
This may mean the vitamin is important for preserving muscle tissue, not just bone density as has previously been thought.
"Current dietary recommendations are based primarily on vitamin D's effects on bone health," Houston said in her report. "Paying attention to how much vitamin D we get will help enhance the 'quality' component of life as we enter our senior years."
American Medical Association studies show that as much as 77 percent of the population may have low levels of vitamin D.
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