What are some common health conditions/causes of vitamin deficiency that our audience should be aware of as they age? –by AARPLynne

There are several vitamins that can become deficient depending on health conditions:


Vitamin B12:  Although most people get plenty of vitamin B12 from foods (e.g., meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals), older adults may become deficient in this vitamin as our ability to absorb this vitamin decreases with age.  Also, people with celiac disease or other illnesses of the small intestine, and those who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery are also at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.  To learn more about vitamin B12 deficiency, please visit our blog post on this topic.


Vitamin B6:  Although most people get enough vitamin B6 from their diets (e.g., poultry, fish, organ meats, potatoes, and some fruits), people with kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and several other autoimmune disorders sometimes have low vitamin B6 levels.  Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency can include numbness/tingling in the hands and feet, confusion, and a weakened immune system. 


Vitamin D:  Vitamin D can come from food (e.g., salmon, tuna, mackerel, and fortified milk), or produced by our skin when exposed to sunlight.  The skin’s ability to produce vitamin D can decline with age, so vitamin D deficiency can be common in older adults.  People who are obese can also be at an increased risk for vitamin D deficiency.  Your doctor may also advise you to take vitamin D (and calcium) supplements if you are at a high risk for osteoporosis.  For more information on vitamin D, see our vitamin D rating page on CognitiveVitality.


If you are concerned about vitamin deficiencies, talk to your doctor—a simple blood test can tell you whether you have enough of these vitamins.” –by Howard Fillit, MD


(Source: Vitamins for brain health? Experts answer your questions. 06/26/2019)

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