Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Falls in Older Adults

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Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Falls in Older Adults
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Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Falls in Older Adults

A report published in the February, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society concluded that supplementing with vitamin D can help prevent nursing home falls in older men and women.  Falls occur in approximately half of the residents of nursing homes each year, and render the patients more susceptible to further injury.

Kerry Broe and Douglas Kiel of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston and colleagues at Boston Medical Center and Harvard analyzed data from a randomized, controlled clinical trial of 124 nursing home residents with an average age of 89.  Participants received 200, 400, 600, or 800 international units (IU) vitamin D per day or placebo for five months.

At the study's conclusion, 44 percent of the patients in the placebo group had fallen, compared with 20 percent of the group that received 800 IU vitamin D.  The adjusted-incidence rate ratio of falls of the subjects in this group was 72 percent lower than that of the placebo group.  Lower doses of vitamin D than 800 IU were not associated with any significant effects compared to placebo.

Over half of the subjects who were using a multivitamin supplement at the beginning of the study had suboptimal serum vitamin D levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter.  When total vitamin D supplement intake was calculated to include multinutrient supplements, the group whose intake was in the lowest one-fifth of the participants had the greatest number of fallers, while the top fifth had the least.

Past studies have shown that vitamin D could help prevent falls in seniors, and may be due to a possible strengthening effect the vitamin has on the musculoskeletal system, the authors noted.  Until now, we didnt know what dosage amount would be effective.

They add that vitamin D supplementation should be considered in combination with other methods to help reduce falling, and recommend further research.

Lowering the risk of falls with a simple vitamin D supplement could improve the quality of life for nursing home residents by reducing the incidence of falls," they conclude.

Warnings Information:

  • For dietary supplement use only,
  • Keep out of reach of children,
  • Do not exceed recommended dosage,
  • If you have a bad reaction, discontinue use immediately,
  • When using, please inform your physician,
  • If you are pregnant, lactating or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using this or any other nutritional supplement,
  • If the effects of allergic reaction occurs, discontinue Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements immediately.

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