The Internal Medicine Magazine, JAMA, published this January a paper which concludes that vitamin D actually harms elderly citizens prone to falls. The study was initiated because previous findings tagged vitamin D deficiency as the primary culprit of falling among elderly citizens.
The sample group used by the researchers at the Zurich University Hospital was comprised out of senior citizens of over 70 years of age. The doctors divided the total number of 200 participants in three groups. The first one, which was also the control group, was given a standard dose of 800 IU of vitamin D a day. The second one received the same units plus calcidiol (also known as calcifediol, the compound that is obtained after the liver processes vitamin D). The third group was offered an increased dose of vitamin, 2000 units a day.
After a year of treatment and supervision, the findings were not consistent with what was known about the “curative effects” of vitamin D. All of the participants still had episodes of falling, but the first group stood slightly better, statistically speaking with a rate of falling of only 47.9% compared to 6.1% and 66.9%.
The conclusion was that the larger intake of vitamin D did not help the lower muscles to function better, rather it aggravated the symptoms. Researchers disagree on the explanation of this phenomenon. Some say the higher percentage of falling was due to the fact that the surplus of vitamin D was causing more energy, thus making the participants more active.
Others disagree with this proposal, underlining the fact that not all vitamins are good for the body, and the excessive amount of vitamin D actually harms elderly citizens prone to falls. The extra quantities of the substance causing a disruption of the lower muscles.
One of the researchers said that before analyzing how the intake of large quantities of vitamin D actually harms elderly citizens prone to falls, they should look into what caused the deficiency in the first place.
The best source of vitamin D is the Sun, so regular walks outside may be one of the steps that may help to prevent the deficiency. Also, it may be found in foods like beef liver, fish, mushrooms, egg yolk, and cheese. The doctors actually recommended the patients to try and take their needed dose of vitamin D from food. By doing so, they eliminate the need of medication which, as it was proven, may harm them even more.