Higher Blood Levels of Vitamin D Associated With Decreased Risk of Falling
Both knee pain and falls are common in later years of life — and both pose potentially debilitating risks. A recent study suggests that higher blood levels of vitamin D may be associated with a lower risk of falling.
Participants in the study included 1,053 people with a mean age of 63 years at baseline. The researchers assessed fall risk using the Physiological Profile Assessment, knee pain and dysfunction using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity using accelerometer. All 3 were measured at the beginning of the study, the 2.5-year, 5-year, and 10-year marks.
After examining the data, the researchers found that the 10-year average physiological falls risk was lower in participants who had a higher 10-year average blood level of vitamin D. They also found that the falls risk was higher in participants with lower levels of physical activity and higher levels of knee pain and dsyfunction.
Researchers from the University of Tasmania conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 6, 2018, in Experimental Gerontology.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles, help with certain allergies, skin protection, bone and blood sugar health and promoting cognitive function and eye health.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.