Suffering a hip fracture is often a “death sentence” for older adults.
In fact, men and women over the age of 50 who suffer a hip fracture have a five-to-eight times higher risk of dying within just three months compared to their peers who don’t suffer the same injury.
And that higher mortality risk can persist for 10 years after the fracture!
Fortunately, a new study just found that people with higher levels of one KEY vitamin have a much stronger recovery after hip fracture surgery. And, clearly, it’s key for long-term survival, too!
Plus, other studies show this vitamin even helps prevent factures and falls from happening in the first place.
Here’s everything you need to know…
Get back on your feet faster with this key vitamin
Researchers followed 290 men and women, 65 and older, who recently underwent surgery for a broken hip.
At the outset, they measured the participants’ vitamin D levels.
They also measured the participants’ ability to walk unassisted both 30 and 60 days after surgery. (Regaining mobility and strength after surgery is a MAJOR factor in determining survival rates.)
Well, it turns out that men and women with vitamin D levels at or below 12 nanograms/milliliter (ng/mL), which is a clear “deficiency,” had trouble walking 10 feet unassisted after 30 and 60 days.
Whereas people with levels over that low threshold of just 12 ng/mL had better walking ability at both points in the study. So, just imagine the potential improvement you could gain through achieving higher, optimal blood levels of 50 to 75 ng/mL (which I routinely recommend)!
Supplement with vitamin D all year long
In the end, this study shows that vitamin D status is a HUGE factor in determining your ability to recover from hip surgery…which, in turn, affects your longevity! Plus, as I reported on Monday, two other studies show that taking a daily vitamin D supplement can even help prevent—and reverse—the No. 1 cause of pain and disability in the U.S.
In other words, these three recent studies just add to the growing wealth of research suggesting you should do everything you can to optimize your vitamin D levels. And that’s easy to do! I recommend following these three steps:
- Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels twice a year—once toward the end of winter and again toward the end of summer. Ask for a simple blood test called the 25(OH)D (25-hydroxy vitamin D) test. (Remember, optimal blood levels are between 50 and 75 ng/mL.)
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen, especially at this time of year. You can slowly add more time each day. But when you’ll be outside longer, wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.
- Supplement with 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D3 daily, year-round, to maintain optimal blood levels.