The Nation's Health + [vitamin D]

vitamin D: Vitamin D and octagenarians

Roger practically bounced in his chair vibrating with energy.

"It must be the vitamin D! I haven't felt like this in years. I can work around the yard all day and still have energy left over."

At age 84, Roger started out with pretty good health, despite a prosthetic valve and bypass surgery 5 years earlier. He looked 74, perhaps younger.

I've seen this effect now in about 20 octagenarians. A Track Your Plaque Member mentioned this same effect in his father-in-law in a discussion in our Forum. Most are taking around 6000-8000 units per day (gelcap, of course). The average dose of vitamin D tends to be higher in this age group, since by age 80, you've essentially lost the capacity to convert 7-hydrocholesterol to active vitamin D3 in the skin. Most octagenarians start with 25-OH-vitamin D3 levels of 10 ng/ml or less--profound deficiency.

I believe the effect is real, having now witnessed it multiple times. Unfortunately, my observations are too informal to qualify as a study. (I wouldn't even know how to quantify this. I suppose some sort of muscle and coordination testing might yield quantifiable measures.) However, there are some data emerging that show less fractures, falls, improved coordination, and perhaps improved memory and mentation with vitamin D supplementation, though doses often used in studies tend to be lower than what we are using in practice.

I haven't been so excited about the effects of a nutritional supplement in a long time. Vitamin D continues to yield surprises every day in its array of positive and powerful effects.

Could we say that vitamin D restores youthfulness?