Friday, February 23, 2007

D upright vitamin for the old folks

I'm not sure when my mom last got out in the sun. She, like other housebound seniors, is at high risk for D vitamin deficiency. A Harvard study recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society confirms that extra D--800 or more units/day--can significantly prevent the elderly from going to ground.
The investigators randomized a group of old old folks (average age 89) to various levels of D supplementation. Defining a fall as "a sudden, unintentional change in position causing a resident to fall to the ground," they checked out which doddery test subject experienced such sudden changes as a function of their D intake.

While daily D doses of 400 units or less didn't make a bit of D-ference with respect to unintentional position changes, those residents assigned to the 800 unit group were 72% less likely to end up on the ground over 5 months compared to their colleagues.

While D alone will not necessarily keep the old perpendicular to the floor, the vitamin does promote muscle strength as well as bone strength and should be considered an important nutrtional supplement for the elderly.

No comments: