A recent meta-analysis by Gilbert T. Chua and Roger Wong, MD, finds that daily vitamin D supplementation helps reduce falls among seniors living in long term care facilities.
The researchers conducted a review of 4 randomized controlled trials examining long term care seniors with mean or median age of 75 years or older. Among the 4 studies, three administered oral vitamin D ranging from 800-1,000 IU/day, while the fourth study prescribed 100,000 IU oral vitamin D every 3 months (~1,100/day).
The authors report a 28% reduction in the number of falls per person, per year. When looking at only the daily dosage studies, there is a significant (44%) reduction in the number of falls. “This indicated that daily high dose vitamin D is more effective than quarterly supratherapeutic [above the therapeutic level] doses in reducing fall rate,” the authors explain.
They also found that vitamin D didn’t seem to reduce the number of people who fell, in other words, supplementation didn’t prevent a person’s first fall, but seemed to prevent people from falling again.
The researchers call for future prospective trials comparing various vitamin D dosages to gain further insight into the link between vitamin D dosage and fall prevention.