Here are some studies about vitamin D and falling among elderly people:

Fall Prevention with Supplemental and Active Forms of Vitamin D: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials (2009)

Conclusion: “Supplemental vitamin D in a dose of 700-1000 IU a day reduced the risk of falling among older individuals by 19%.”


A Higher Dose of Vitamin D Reduces the Risk of Falls in Nursing Home Residents: A Randomized, Multiple-Dose Study (2007)

Conclusion: In a 5-month study of 124 nursing home residents, those given 800 IU of vitamin D daily suffered 72% fewer falls compared to the placebo group.


Effect of Cholecalciferol Plus Calcium on Falling in Ambulatory Older Men and Women: A 3-Year Randomized Controlled Trial (2006)

Conclusion: In a 3-year-long randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment of elderly men and women, 700 IU of vitamin D and 500mg of calcium supplemented daily proved to be effective for reducing the risk of falling in the women by 46%.


Low-Dose Vitamin D Prevents Muscular Atrophy and Reduces Falls and Hip Fractures in Women After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2005)

Conclusion: A two-year study of 96 elderly, female stroke victims found that those supplementing with 1000 IU of vitamin D2 daily suffered fewer falls and hip fractures, demonstrated improved muscular strength, and enjoyed an increase in the number and size of type 2 muscle fibers compared to the placebo group.


Association Between 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Levels, Physical Activity, Muscle Strength and Fractures in the Prospective Population-Based OPRA Study of Elderly Women (2005)

Conclusion: This 3-year study of 986 elderly women found that those with lower vitamin D levels suffered more falls and fractures than women with higher vitamin D levels. “A low 25OHD [vitamin D level] was associated with inferior physical activity level, gait speed and balance.”


Higher 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations are Associated with Better Lower-Extremity Function in Both Active and Inactive Persons Aged > or =60 y. (2004)

Conclusion: In an experiment involving people over the age of 60, those with higher vitamin D levels demonstrated a superior ability to walk and ability to transition from a sitting to standing position.


Effect of Vitamin D on Falls: A Meta-Analysis (2004)

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation significantly reduces the risk of falling in older people.


Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Neuromuscular Function in Older People who Fall (2004)

Conclusion: In this randomized, placebo-controlled experiment, 139 elderly patients with a history of falls were given either a 600,000 IU megadose of vitamin D2 or a placebo. At baseline and 6 months later they were evaluated for postural sway, reaction time, physical performance, and leg strength. At 6 months, the supplemented group had higher vitamin D levels and demonstrated superior reaction time and functional performance compared to the placebo group – who actually exhibited deteriorating physical performance. It’s important to note that almost all studies comparing vitamin D2 and D3 have found D2 to be only about 25% as potent as D3 and a dose of 600,000 IU per 6 months averages out to only about 3,500 IU per day, which is unlikely enough for elderly people to get their levels into an optimal range. “Vitamin D supplementation, in fallers with vitamin D insufficiency, has a significant beneficial effect on functional performance, reaction time and balance, but not muscle strength. This suggests that vitamin D supplementation improves neuromuscular or neuroprotective function, which may in part explain the mechanism whereby vitamin D reduces falls and fractures.”


Effects of Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation on Falls: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2003)

Conclusion: In this study of 122 elderly female nursing home residents, those given 800 IU of vitamin D daily for three months experienced 49% fewer falls compared to those not given vitamin D.


Serum Vitamin D and Falls in Older Women in Residential Care in Australia (2003)

Conclusion: This study of 1,619 elderly women living in nursing home facilities found that 22% of them women receiving low-level care had a severe vitamin D deficiency of <10 ng/ml and a shocking 45% of the women in high-level care were deficient below 10 ng/ml. The study also found that with each doubling of vitamin D levels, the risk of falling among the women dropped by 20%.


Neuromuscular and Psychomotor Function in Elderly Subjects who Fall and the Relationship with Vitamin D Status (2002)

Conclusion: Vitamin D-deficient elderly people were found to have “slower functional performance, weaker quadriceps, slower reaction times, and worse stability” compared to those with higher levels.


Relation Between Vitamin D, Physical Performance, and Disability in Elderly Persons (2002)

Conclusion: Vitamin D levels, arm strength, and leg strength were tested in 269 elderly people over a 6-month period. Women with low vitamin D levels were found to have significantly weaker arm and leg strength.


Vitamin D Status, Trunk Muscle Strength, Body Sway, Falls, and Fractures Among 237 Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis (2001)

Conclusion: Among osteoporotic postmenopausal women, those with lower vitamin D levels have an increased risk of falling and suffering fall-related fractures.


Effects of a Short-Term Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation on Body Sway and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Elderly Women (2000)

Conclusion: A 1-year study of 148 elderly women found that those given a daily dose of 800 IU of vitamin D enjoyed 9% less body sway and fewer falls than the non-vitamin D group. Researchers concluded that vitamin D and calcium supplementation may prevent falls and fall-related fractures.


Low Serum Calcidiol Concentration in Older Adults with Reduced Muscular Function (1999)

Conclusion: This randomized population survey of 349 elderly people found that those with higher vitamin D levels demonstrated better arm strength, a better ability to climb stairs, better overall physical activity, and fewer falls.


Seasonal Variation in Serum 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol in Healthy People (1978)

Conclusion: Vitamin D levels were checked in 232 South African elderly femoral neck fracture patients. The blood tests performed closest to the hospital admissions found that the majority of them were vitamin D deficient. Further study and follow up found that their vitamin D levels were highest in the summer and autumn months.



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