Why do the small intestines lose efficiency as I age?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Think of your 23-foot-long small intestines as an underwater cave with coral—the coral being the finger-shaped villi that line the inner walls of your intestines and act like little sponges, sucking up nutrients. As you get older, those villi become rocky and ragged and dulled, so they're less able to absorb nutrients (although they are still great at absorbing calories).

And you can imagine what that does. A decreased ability to absorb calcium means an increased chance that you'll experience bone loss. A decreased ability to absorb vitamin B12 or folate or niacin or vitamins C or E may mean an increased risk of neurological deficit or damage from free radicals.
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

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You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

International bestselling authors of YOU: The Owner's Manual and YOU: On a Diet give you all the tools and know-how to stay young and defy the ageing process. Drawing lively parallels between your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.