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Vitamin D Can Help Reduce Falls in Older Adults

Last Updated: October 02, 2009.

Vitamin D supplementation of between 700 and 1,000 IU can significantly reduce the risk of falls in older adults, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in BMJ.

FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D supplementation of between 700 and 1,000 IU can significantly reduce the risk of falls in older adults, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in BMJ.

Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, M.D., of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a review of eight randomized controlled trials comprising 2,426 participants (mean age, 65 years or older) who were given oral doses of vitamin D and were also assessed for falls.

In seven trials, high doses of vitamin D reduced the risk of falls by 19 percent overall, but a dose of less than 700 IU a day did not have any impact on the risk of falls, the researchers found. When the investigators controlled for potentially confounding factors such as age, calcium supplementation and type of housing, the results still stood, with the effect detectable within two to five months and extending for over 12 months.

"A 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentration of at least 60 nmol/L is required for fall prevention; therefore, a daily intake of at least 700 IU supplemental vitamin D is warranted in all individuals age 65 and older," the authors write."

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