The September issue of Functional Ingredients included an intriguing article on healthy aging, quality of life and dietary supplements. It included a number of staggering statistics on aging individuals and I wanted to share some of them with you.
- 1/3 of people over the age of 65 fall down each year. One in five of those require medical attention and one in 10 break a bone
- Falls are responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 people in the US each year
- Nearly 40% of fatal falls are by people older than 85 years old
- By age 60, four in 10 men and half of all women report joint pain in one or more joints
- For the US population as a whole, 50 million have arthritis
- Peak bone density is reached at age 35. By age 80, women will have half the calcium in their bones that they did at half that age
- Dementia affects about five percent of people ages 70-80, 24% of people ages 80-90 and more than 40% for people older than 90
- Dementia is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States
While these are sobering statistics, the article goes on to share equally as remarkable research about the supporting role of dietary supplements in aging.
- Alzheimer’s patients with low levels of serum vitamin D score lower on mental state examinations compared to patients with adequate vitamin D
- Studies indicate that calcium and vitamin D supplementation, in combination, support bone density
- A 2007 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical intervention study among 325 postmenopausal women receiving 45mcg/day vitamin K2 for three years found that hip-bone strength remained unchanged where the bone strength of those in placebo group decreased significantly
- Epidemiological studies indicate that higher intakes of vitamins E, K and B12 as well as magnesium, copper, maganese and boron are associated wtih higher bone density
- Fish oil (DHA in particular) continues to gain support as protective against dementia
The take away message here is that we can all make a decision to age as well as possible. Our diet, lifestyle and supplementation choices can have a huge impact on our health and well-being as we age.