(NaturalNews) In a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, seniors who took daily supplements containing high doses of vitamin D had 72 percent fewer falls that those who did not take such supplements. Researchers found that the most effective dose was 800 International Units (IU) daily.
• Approximately 50 percent of nursing home residents suffer at least one fall each year. Those who have been injured, including in prior falls, are at a much higher risk.
• Study authors Kerry Broe and Douglas Kiel suggest that vitamin D may help prevent falls by strengthening the musculoskeletal system.
• The federal government recommends 400 IU of vitamin D daily for seniors. Those planning to take the higher amount of 800 IU recommended by the study should consult a doctor first.
• Complications can arise from too much vitamin D, particularly for those with underlying medical conditions. However, some studies suggests that levels of 1000 IU or even 2000 IU daily should be safe and may provide substantial health benefits.
• The safest way to obtain vitamin D is by exposure to sunshine. For most people, 25 minutes of sun on the face and hands can cause the body to synthesize as much as 2000 IU of vitamin D. For lighter skinned people, as little as 10-15 minutes will suffice. Furthermore, because the body synthesizes only as much as it needs, it is impossible to suffer vitamin-D toxicity from sunlight.
• Quote: "Past studies have shown that vitamin D could help prevent falls in seniors .... Until now, we didn’t know what dosage amount would be effective." - Kerry Broe and Douglas Kiel