Vitamin D supplementation improves balance and lowers risk of falls in women

Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

November 20 2015. A double-blind trial reported on November 2, 2015 in Menopause found that supplementation with vitamin D resulted in fewer falls and better body stability among postmenopausal women with a history of falling. The study “is the first randomized clinical trial that evaluated the effectiveness of vitamin D in preventing falls in younger postmenopausal women,” announce authors Luciana Mendes Cangussu, MSc and colleagues at Sao Paulo State University.

The trial included 160 women between the ages of 50 to 65 years who had fallen over the previous year. Half of the women received 1,000 international units (IU) vitamin D per day and the remainder received a placebo for nine months. Postural balance, plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and other factors were evaluated at the beginning and end of the treatment period, and any falls were noted.
Insufficient vitamin D levels were found in both groups at the beginning of the study. At the end of the treatment period, vitamin D levels increased from an average of 15 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) to 27.5 ng/mL among supplemented women, while declining from 16.9 ng/mL to 13.8 ng/mL among those who received a placebo. Participants who received a placebo had nearly twice the adjusted risk of falls than those who received vitamin D and a 2.8 times greater risk of recurrent falls. Postural sway declined by an average of 35% in all balance conditions tested in participants who received vitamin D while remaining relatively the same in the placebo group.
“In Brazilian postmenopausal women fallers, isolated vitamin D supplementation for 9 months resulted in a lower incidence of falls and improvement in postural balance,” the authors conclude.  They note that a reduction in the risk of falling would help minimize healthcare costs for postmenopausal women.

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