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Mon Dec 14, 2020, 02:17 AM

More not always better: High vitamin D doses may increase risk of falls among seniors

Giving the elderly a higher dose of vitamin D will not in any way be better at preventing them from falling.
By Snow Digon
December 14, 2020 06:03 GMT

Vitamin D is a known essential vitamin that benefits the bones. However, precaution must be taken when it comes to seniors. Too much of the said vitamin may increase the risk of falling.

A study titled, "The Effects of Four Doses of Vitamin D Supplements on Falls in Older Adults" published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the National Institute on Aging found that high consumption of vitamin D may increase the risk of falls in seniors. The study warns that high doses of vitamin D does not mean more protection for seniors.

It showed that a dose of 1,000 or higher IU per day, which is equivalent to 25 micrograms per day, was no better than 200 IU per day at preventing a senior from falling.

Dr. Lawrence Appel, the author of the study and a professor of medicine, said that many people think that a higher dose will be helpful but there are vitamins wherein a higher dose could pose more risks. He said that there is a possibility that higher doses of vitamin D (2,000 and 4,000 IU per day) can lead not only to an increase but also to the severity of falls.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2020, 07:52 AM

1. Thanks for this. Here are my search results for a dosage level of D3 to protect against

covid-19. I've been using D3 for many years and haven't had any falls. (I'm 71.)

Also I recently began using an iron supplement in combination with a multi-vitamin and
after reading about the hazards of iron toxicity I decided to cut the 225 mg iron pills in
half to avoid that. Gotta do our best to stay safe!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2020, 09:21 AM

2. Interesting that the article doesn't speculate on why it may increase falls.

Is it affecting balance? muscle strength?

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Response to tanyev (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 14, 2020, 11:09 PM

3. I've read reports of side effects of fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss from Vit D

so both poor balance and reduced muscle strength could be a result of those side effects for some people.

I have taken 1000 IU for several years and haven't had any falls or side effects and am very active with biking, hiking and strenuous home and yardwork with push mower and ladders with no balance issues. Definitely no loss of appetite or weight loss. My tested Vit D level is an average middle range and bone density has tested normal too so I will just continue what I'm doing.

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Response to wishstar (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 09:22 AM

4. I'm on a megadose right now because I was low on my last blood test.

I've had no troublesome issues, although I'm still a few years away from being able to retire, so not a senior yet I guess.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 16, 2020, 09:00 PM

5. I'm not entirely sure of how Ms. Digon is spinning this trial.

The original paper is here: The Effects of Four Doses of Vitamin D Supplements on Falls in Older Adults It's rather brief, and the sample size is relatively small, particularly since there were several cohorts at different dose levels. It's questionable how much statistical power this clinical trial really has.

There is considerable evidence that Vitamin D ameliorates the symptoms of Covid-19, which is a great threat to the elderly.

For example (among many): Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results Meltzer et al JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(9):e2019722. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19722.

I qualify as a senior citizen and I do take Vitamin D, because I'm working and there is a potential, increasingly, for Covid exposure.

I recommend that all Senior Citizens take it, at least in the recommended doses.

As Drs. Adrian R Martineau, Nita G Forouhi argue in The Lancet, Diabetes and Endocrinology VOLUME 8, ISSUE 9, P735-736, SEPTEMBER 01, 2020:

Pending results of such trials, it would seem uncontroversial to enthusiastically promote efforts to achieve reference nutrient intakes of vitamin D, which range from 400 IU/day in the UK to 600800 IU/day in the USA. These are predicated on benefits of vitamin D for bone and muscle health, but there is a chance that their implementation might also reduce the impact of COVID-19 in populations where vitamin D deficiency is prevalent; there is nothing to lose from their implementation, and potentially much to gain.

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