Vitamins for Healthy Aging

By Editorial Staff

Frailty is a major health issue with age. Seniors who are frail are more likely to suffer falls, break bones and become debilitated, losing independence and often accelerating the decline already occurring with age. Fortunately, seniors can reduce their risk of frailty and the consequences with sound nutrition, suggests research, specifically a diet rich in vitamins from fruits and vegetables.

In examining data on eating habits from more than 1,600 adults ages 65 and older and without frailty at the start of the study, researchers determined that seniors whose diets were the lowest in vitamins B6, C, E and folates were significantly more likely to develop frailty over the next 3-4 years compared to seniors with diets high in those vitamins. Here’s the breakdown by vitamin, as reported in Age and Ageing:

  • Low in B6: 2.8 times more likely to develop frailty
  • Low in C: 1.7 times more likely to develop frailty
  • Low in E: 1.9 times more likely to develop frailty
  • Low in folates (B9): 2.3 times more likely to develop frailty

Overall, the researchers examined the impact of 10 vitamins on frailty risk. Seniors who failed to adhere to the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 also were more likely to develop frailty, and seniors who met the RDAs for fewer than five of the 10 vitamins also had a higher risk of frailty compared to seniors who met more than seven RDAs. Note that this study investigated the impact of dietary vitamin intake, not supplementation. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

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