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With advancing age the body changes and so do calcium and vitamin D needs.
Sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important nutrients for bone health. The body uses calcium for the heart, blood, muscles and nerves. Without the proper amount of calcium intake, the body will strip calcium from the bones where it is stored, causing the bones to get weaker.
Unfortunately, as compared to younger people, seniors are especially vulnerable to calcium and vitamin D deficiency – largely because the body changes with advancing age. A recent survey stated that both calcium and vitamin D inadequacies are prevalent among the elderly population across South-East Asia due to the indoor-lifestyle of most seniors, little sunshine in winter months, and the various physiological factors related to ageing.
Calcium and vitamin D supplementation and sensible sun exposure should be encouraged, especially during the cooler seasons. Increasing calcium and vitamin D levels has been shown to reduce the risk of falls and fractures by about 20%.
Appropriate intake of calcium and vitamin D is crucial in the prevention and slowing of bone loss, but can be difficult to achieve on a daily basis. Careful planning
and tracking are often necessary to ensure the individual is getting adequate amounts across all sources.