More than half of older adults are lacking in three key vitamins

As you get older, achieving optimal nutrition is more important than ever.

But a new study shows that a staggering number of older adults don’t even get the paltry “government-recommended” levels of three key nutrients. No wonder more and more Americans experience memory loss and chronic disease as they get older. In my view, these aren’t aging problems. They’re poor nutrition problems.

For this new study, a team of German scientists analyzed blood samples from 1,079 older adults ages 65 to 93.

They found that 52 percent of the older adults had vitamin D levels below 50 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).

This finding represents a real tragedy.

As you know by now, vitamin D plays a critical role in preventing ¾ and even reversing ¾ just about every chronic disease there is…including cancer and heart disease. (Tragically, the mainstream only focuses on vitamin D’s role in supporting bone health.)

I recommend you have your vitamin D levels checked every 12 months through a routine blood test, called a 25(OH) D test. Your doctor will order the test during your annual check-up. Ideally, you want your levels to be between 50 nmol/L and 75 nmol/L.

In addition to a vitamin D deficiency, the new study’s participants had deficiencies in two other key vitamins…

More than a quarter of older adults depleted of neuro-vitamins

Turns out, 27 percent of participants had a vitamin B12 (or cobalamin) deficiency and 9 percent had a deficiency in B9 (or folate).

Experts now recognize B vitamins support neurological and brain health. In fact, in Europe they call B vitamins “neuro-vitamins.”

Even mainstream minions now realize that the widespread vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

In my opinion, a good start to addressing this epidemic doesn’t require coming up with a new, billion-dollar drug. Instead, we should focus on getting adults to take a simple, high-quality B complex supplement daily.

Of course, vitamin B also plays a critical role in preventing heart disease, the No. 1 killer in older Americans, as I often report.

Truly, these nutritional problems have been building for a long time…

The modern American diet simply doesn’t provide enough of the nutrients needed for optimal health. And it’s not all our fault. In fact, the actual nutrient content of food crops has declined every decade over the past century, according to analyses performed by the USDA, due to changes in farming.

I first observed this fact during the 1980s when studying green, leafy vegetables and yellow-orange vegetables as sources of all-important carotenoids, as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Plus, even if you take daily supplements, you may not get what you need to achieve optimal nutrition. In fact, the vast majority of supplements consumed have extremely poor quality. Especially the useless “once-a-day” multivitamins.

Supplement wisely (especially if you must take a prescription drug)

As you might suspect, prescription drugs also contribute to the development of nutritional deficiencies among older adults. Even metformin, the only drug I ever recommend for Type II diabetes, can cause nutritional deficiencies.

Metformin, which originally derived from the European folk remedy French lilac, causes the body to lose vitamin B12. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t warn their patients about this common side effect. Furthermore, many still debate whether they should prescribe B vitamins to patients taking the drug.

Before I move onto my recommendations, I must make one more point…

This study used the government’s paltry recommended daily allowances as a baseline. But the government established these guidelines to prevent frank nutritional deficiencies. They do not reflect the amounts needed to achieve optimal health. So, the real health implications of this study are far greater than the numbers even suggest.

All in all, maintaining optimal health as you get older isn’t as difficult as you might think. I recommend you:

  1. Eat a balanced diet that includes meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits.
  2. Avoid processed foods and sugar. Instead, eat natural and organic whole foods.
  3. Avoid taking excess medications that block nutrient absorption, such as antacids.
  4. Take a high-quality B complex supplement daily. Make sure it contains at least 12 mcg of B12 and 200 mcg of folate.
  5. Take 10,000 IU daily of vitamin D. You can now find it in a convenient liquid form together with astaxanthin, a potent marine carotenoid. (And don’t let the international units that make vitamin D doses “seem” high fool you. They’re not high at all; especially when compared to other dietary supplements or to drugs.)
  6. Spend time outside every day, especially as the weather begins to warm up. Just 20 minutes in the sun between mid-March and October can trigger your body’s own production of vitamin D.

You can learn more about what it takes to achieve and maintain optimal health in my new protocol, The Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age,” set to launch this Sunday, March 18th.