Life Cycle Changes in Vitamin D Production and Metabolism

Production of vitamin D by the skin typically declines during late adulthood or the early elderly period because of changes in the skin per se, i.e., reduction in thickness, reduction in circulating 7-dehydrocholesterol, and decline in the rate of conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholecalciferol. When these physiological decrements are combined with less direct exposure to sun by the elderly, even in Florida, they have little opportunity to make the vitamin in their skin. Sun-screens and broad-brimmed hats and other protective clothing complete this scenario, which is aimed at preventing skin cancer.

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