Bone health and the importance of calcium and vitamin D for elderly people
All the vitamins and minerals are important for the proper functioning of a human body. We get most of these vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. The deficiency of these nutrients can cause a number of complications and affect the quality of our life. Likewise, Calcium and Vitamin D are the main nutrients for bone health. They help us fight a number of diseases and develop strong bones. The deficiency of calcium can lead to low bone mass and high fracture rates. Whereas the deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to bone pain and bone weakness, as it helps in absorbing the calcium. Over the years, the researchers believed that the deficiency of Vitamin D and Calcium can be dangerous only for children. But, according to Dr Ashwani Maichand, new researches have proved that the deficiency of these nutrients can cause numerous problems to the elderly people as well. In fact, the numbers have been increasing, as far as the Vitamin D and calcium-related problems in elderly people are concerned. According to a recent study, deficiency of these nutrients can contribute to osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hip fractures, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and poor general health in seniors. The major causes of Vitamin D deficiency are poor nutrition, scarce exposition to sunlight and a decline in the synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin. A person’s ability to absorb Vitamin D declines with age. Also, living in a polluted area can reduce the scope of absorbing Vitamin D. Some of the foods that contain vitamin D are salmon, mackerel, tuna, cheese, egg yolks, etc. Every individual, especially children and elderly people, must include one of these foods in their diet every day. On the other hand, there are several causes for calcium deficiency in humans and they differ, depending upon the type of calcium deficiency. There has been a lot of uncertainty about the intake of calcium for various ages and physiological states. Dr Ashwani Maichand reckons that the intake of calcium can vary from 700 mg to 1300 mg, depending on the age and medical condition of an individual. The main sources of calcium are milk, yoghurts, cheese, fish, few vegetables and fruits. Although children and elders are more vulnerable to the diseases caused by the deficiency of calcium and vitamin D, but it is important for all of us to intake a nutrient-rich diet. A balanced diet not only prevents diseases, but increases the quality of life as well.