Low Vitamin D Associated with Falls and Loss of Mobility in Elderly

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Listen to Byron Explain
This Week's Health Podcast >

One-third of elderly Americans are blatantly deficient in vitamin D and a majority lack optimal vitamin D for good health.  One quality of health aspect during aging is maintaining the physical ability to get around and do things.  Several new studies point out that vitamin D is needed to maintain physical functionality during aging.

The first study involved 2,099 men and women aged 70-79 who did not have mobility problems at the beginning of the study.  They were tested for vitamin D status and followed for the next six years.  Those with low vitamin D were more likely to develop mobility limitations, including a twofold higher risk for mobility disability.

“This is one of the first studies to look at the association of vitamin D and the onset of new mobility limitations or disability in older adults,” said lead author Denise Houston, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition epidemiologist in the Wake Forest Baptist Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology.  “It’s difficult to get enough vitamin D through diet alone and older adults, who may not spend much time outdoors, may need to take a vitamin D supplement.  Higher amounts of vitamin D may be needed for the preservation of muscle strength and physical function as well as other health conditions.”

In a separate report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended exercise and vitamin D to prevent falls in adults ages 65 and older.  This report is significant because government panels of experts seldom recommend a vitamin for anything, even when the evidence is overwhelming.  In other words, the evidence in support of older people taking vitamin D to prevent falls is overwhelming.  And according to the first study they also need vitamin D to keep active, which is another recommendation of this panel.

I previously reported that researchers have found that increasing vitamin D in the elderly would significantly extend lifespan.  I have also reported that the dose of vitamin D needed to optimize levels is between 4,000 I.U. and 8,000 I.U. per day.  A person does not want to be at the bottom of the normal range on a vitamin D test.  You should strive to be in the middle of the normal range for optimal benefits of vitamin D during aging. 


More Health News

Loading articles...
Loading navigation...
Loading content...

View All Health News Archives
Supplement Advisor
Wellness Resources Success Stories
Connect on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Wellness Resources on Pinterest Wellness Resources YouTube Channel Get RSS News Feeds