Bone-Healthy Vitamin D Helps Prevent Falls, Medical Board Says

Want to prevent falls? Try vitamin D and exercise, new recommendations suggest.

For the first time since 1996, the respected U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated their fall-prevention recommendations, according to Reuters. Of all the fall advice the USPSTF gives, perhaps the finding making the most news is that taking bone-healthy vitamin D may help prevent falls in people 65 or older who are at high risk.

Together, vitamin D and exercise (or physical therapy) reduce the risk of falling by 13 to 17 percent, Reuters reports.

A 13 percent reduction in falls would mean that instead of 30 out of 100 older adults having a fall each year, that number would drop to 26

In the USPSTF’s review of the evidence on vitamin D, the panel found that to prevent one elderly person from falling, 10 would have to take vitamin D supplements.

[Dr. Albert Siu, vice co-chair of the USPSTF,] said the usual dose is 800 international units (IUs) per day, and studies suggest people should take vitamin D for one year to see any benefit.

Another important aspect of fall prevention is making sure the home environment is safe. We can help with that through our free home-evaluation visit. Or get a safety checklist of your own here here.

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