Providing Mature Adults with Vitamin D3 Supplements May Significantly Reduce Falls
Previous studies suggest that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of falls in mature adults. However, many mature adults have low vitamin D levels. A recent study suggests that delivering vitamin D supplements to homebound individuals via a “meals on wheels” program may help improve vitamin D levels and reduce the number of falls.
Participants in the five month study included 68 community-dwelling homebound adults between the ages of 65 and 102. Each month, half of the group was given a single dose of 100,000 IU of vitamin D3 while the other half was given an active placebo of 400 IU of vitamin D3 one time per month. The decision was made to provide the full month in a single dose in order to ensure maximum compliance with the regimen.
The researchers measured vitamin D levels via blood tests at the onset and conclusion of the study. They also recorded the participants’ history of falls, as well as their fears regarding falling. Throughout the trial, all of the participants recorded any falls that they experienced.
At the beginning of the study, the researchers noted that more than half of the participants had less than 20 ng per ml blood concentrations of vitamin D. Less than a quarter had blood concentrations in the optimal range of 30 ng per ml or more.
At the conclusion of the study, only one of the 34 participants who took the 100,000 IU of vitamin D3 supplements had blood levels lower than 20 ng/mL, while 18 of the 25 participants in the placebo group had levels in the lower extreme. Additionally, the vitamin D group had approximately half of the falls of the placebo group.
Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on August 16, 2015, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.
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.