Higher vitamin D doses linked to greater falls injury in older adults

Vitamin D supplements may increase muscle strength and improve balance, but there's "a real possibility" that higher doses increase the risk and severity of falls, report epidemiologists.

A new investigation revealed that 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D supplements were no better at preventing falls in people aged 70 or more years than a lower dose of 2000 IR/day.

In addition, participants assigned to 1,000 or more IU/day had a greater incidence of serious falls and falls with hospitalization compared with those assigned to 200 IU/day, reported study lead Lawrence Appel, M.D., MPH, of Johns Hopkins University.

"There's no benefit of higher doses but several signals of potential harm" Appel said "A lot of people think if a little bit is helpful, a lot will be better. But for some vitamins, high-dose supplements pose more risks than benefits."

Older adults should discuss fall risk and vitamin D levels with their doctor and decide whether or not supplements will be helpful, the researchers concluded.

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Curt Wood, R.Ph., FASCP

Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist

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