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A study from Padua, Italy shows that people over 60 who have low blood levels of vitamin D are at high risk for weak muscles and disability.

Lack of vitamin D interferes with your ability to kill germs and increases your chances of developing certain cancers such as prostate cancer. You get vitamin D in liver, kidney and eggs, but doctors tell you to limit these foods because they are rich sources of cholesterol. Most people meet their needs for vitamin D from sunlight, but doctors tell you that excessive exposure to sunlight causes skin cancer and wrinkling. This study shows that all older people should get a blood test for vitamin D and those with low levels should eat fatty fish, take vitamin D supplements, or expose a few inches of skin to sunlight for ten minutes a day.

The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 57:M7-M11 (2002) Relation Between Vitamin D, Physical Performance, and Disability in Elderly Persons. Mauro Zambonia, Elena Zoicoaa Cattedra di Geriatria, Universitàà di Verona, Verona, Italy

Checked 5/3/07

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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