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Vitamin D may prevent falls among elderly

23rd February 2007

Taking a vitamin D supplement could improve the quality of life for elderly people and help reduce the number of falls, according to a new study.

Around half of nursing home residents fall every year, becoming prone to further falls because of their injuries.

However, a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study has revealed that people taking the vitamin every day experienced 72 per cent fewer falls than those who did not take the supplement.

"Lowering the risk of falls with a simple vitamin D supplement could improve the quality of life for nursing home residents by reducing the incidence of falls," said authors Kerry Broe and Douglas Kiel of the Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research at Harvard University.

The study helped researchers understand what dosage would be affective, the authors added, saying: "The dose that was most effective, 800 international units per day, is higher than the dose typically prescribed to seniors."

However, they stressed that patient's must seek their doctor's advice before taking this dose, concluding that more research on the issue was needed.