According to the latest census statistics, the number of people in the U.S. over the age of 65 has grown by over a third in the past decade alone.
That means, with increased life expectancy and the probability of older adults remaining in the workforce longer, maintaining an active healthy lifestyle will be more important than ever.
To prepare, it would be smart for us to look for effective ways to ward off health problems that were once considered inevitable with age. And that’s exactly what the findings of a three-year clinical trial may have just given us — all wrapped up in two natural supplements that should already be part of your health regimen.
Vitamin D and the omega-3s
A long-term European study, known as DO-HEALTH, specifically set out to investigate the effects of these supplements on aging. And, considering it is “the largest randomized double-blind study on old age,” you can take these findings to the bank…
The researchers recruited 2,157 relatively healthy men and women aged 70 or older and split them into eight groups based on whether they received none, one, two or all three of the following interventions: 1 gram a day of omega-3 fatty acids, 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D and/or an at-home exercise program.
Then for three full years, the researchers followed up, conducting comprehensive health exams, surveys and more, looking for disease risk, infections, falls and of course, hospital stays.
And here’s what they found…
While supplementation didn’t show a change for older adults who were already leading an active lifestyle and had no preexisting health problems when it came to bone health, memory or muscle function — in other words, “healthy agers” — there were still two big benefits to taking a combo of vitamin D plus fish oil…
First, omega-3s were found to reduce the risk of infections by 11 percent in total, with results broken down like this:
- A 10 percent reduction in risk of upper respiratory infections
- A whopping 62 percent lower risk of urinary tract infections
And vitamin D didn’t hold back either — lowering systolic blood pressure in men by 2.5 mmHg.
As Howard LeWine, M.D., editor-in-chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch points out, “Most studies show a greater risk of stroke and heart disease related to higher systolic pressures compared with elevated diastolic pressures. That’s especially true in people ages 50 and older, which is why doctors tend to monitor the top number more closely.”
That wasn’t all vitamin D did. It also reduced the risk of infections by a full 16 percent in participants aged 70 to 74.
So, when you consider that both omega-3s and the sunshine vitamin are providing potent infection protection, how could you go wrong by adding them to your daily regimen?
In fact, study author Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, professor of geriatric medicine and aging research at the University of Zurich specifically said, “We believe there is an effect on infections, such as Covid-19.”
So with the coronavirus pandemic still raging across our country, shoring your body up for a fight against infections just makes good sense.
How much should you take of each?
The study participants that were considered to be in the “treatment groups” for the supplements that saw the big benefits we just discussed were taking 1 gram/day of omega-3 fatty acids. The vitamin D supplementation level rang in at 2,000 IUs/day.
However, it has been shown safe to take 5000 IUs/day to raise and maintain low levels of vitamin D, which is why I take Peak D3™ daily — along with 1,000 mg of omega-3s in the ultra-pure Peak Krill Oil™.
And that’s advice that may carry you further than your retirement account!
65 and Older Population Grows Rapidly as Baby Boomers Age — United States Census Bureau
Fact Sheet: Aging in the United States — Population Reference Bureau
Which blood pressure number is important? — Harvard Health