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August 22, 2019

Seniors' health can decline due to deficiencies in micronutrients, study says

Senior Health Nutrition
Vitamin deficiencies increase frailty senior Source/Image licensed by Ingram Image

A study published in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine found that vitamin D, luetin, zeaxanthin, folate, and vitamin B-12 are key in aiding older adults' health and not having enough of these micronutrients can contribute to pre-frailty and frailty.

It's not a secret that not getting enough nutrients can lead to poorer health, especially for older adults, but deficiencies in micronutrients affect their inabilities to bounce back after getting sick or falling, a new study says.

A study published in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine found that specific micronutrients are important older adults' health and a lack of them contributes frailty. 

Frailty is geriatric condition that can cause a rapid decline in health and function for older adults. It decreases one's ability to recover after going through a stressful event. 

This decline in health can come from many things, but the newest research from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging suggests lower levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, folate and vitamins D, B, and B-12, contribute to this decline. 

Researchers found that frailty and pre-frailty were associated with lower levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin D.

Low levels of B vitamins, folate and B-12, were associated with pre-frailty. The associations with frailty persisted even after researchers made additional adjustment for social lifestyle, and health and seasonal factors.

Scientists also found that the accumulation of micronutrient deficiencies increased the likelihood of the severity of frailty.

Researchers examined a population size of 4,068 individuals over the age of 50 in Ireland, quantifying frailty by measuring fatigue, resistance, ambulation, illness, and loss of weight. They also took into account the patients' sociodemographic, lifestyle, health, and seasonal factors.

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