As we age, numerous things happen that we often chalk up to being just the normal part of aging. Such as “age-related muscle loss”. The technical name for it is sarcopenia. Whatever you call it, it means you are losing muscle. And it isn’t just limited to making a person weaker… it is also associated with higher risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia. That’s because when muscle loss happens, it can cause the brain’s cortex to shrink… and that is the area of the brain essential for memory, cognition, and thinking.
There are ways to slow down muscle loss/sarcopenia. Strength training and eating enough protein are both helpful. But research has now found that a particular vitamin can help muscles to stay strong, healthy, and well functioning as we age.
In a study conducted on mice to see if Vitamin D deficiency would impair the function of mitochondria in muscle cells, the researchers theorized that mitochondria need Vitamin D in order to function well. For three months the mice were either fed normal amounts of Vitamin D, or no Vitamin D at all. After 3 months the mice with Vitamin D deficiencies had about a 40% decline in mitochondrial function in their muscles, possibly impacting their ability to convert energy from food and limiting muscle performance and recovery according to the researchers who said their result suggest that “Vitamin D deficiency decreases mitochondrial function, as opposed to reducing the number of mitochondria in skeletal muscle”.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that up to 60% of adults in the U.S. may be deficient in Vitamin D. And that deficiency can result in a whole bunch of chronic diseases on top of the greater risk of muscle loss and cognitive decline.
It’s said that 5,000 IU per day of Vitamin D is required if a person has a deficiency of it and experts suggest from 2,000 to 5,000 IU for anyone. You can also get Vitamin D from salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, canned tuna, beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and milk, orange juice and cereals fortified with Vitamin D. Remember drinking Willard’s Water will boost your absorption of nutrients in food and supplements, so don’t forget to drink it too!