Article

Fall prevention and vitamin D in the elderly: an overview of the key role of the non-bone effects.

Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Angers University Hospital, Angers University Memory Center, UPRES EA 2646, University of Angers, UNAM, Angers, France.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.62). 10/2010; 7:50. DOI: 10.1186/1743-0003-7-50
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Preventing falls and fall-related fractures in the elderly is an objective yet to be reached. There is increasing evidence that a supplementation of vitamin D and/or of calcium may reduce the fall and fracture rates. A vitamin D-calcium supplement appears to have a high potential due to its simple application and its low cost. However, published studies have shown conflicting results as some studies failed to show any effect, while others reported a significant decrease of falls and fractures. Through a 15-year literature overview, and after a brief reminder on mechanism of falls in older adults, we reported evidences for a vitamin D action on postural adaptations - i.e., muscles and central nervous system - which may explain the decreased fall and bone fracture rates and we underlined the reasons for differences and controversies between published data. Vitamin D supplementation should thus be integrated into primary and secondary fall prevention strategies in older adults.

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