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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vitamin D supplements could help reduce the risk of falling

Linda Searing The Washington Post

The question: When an older person falls, serious injury often results. Might the chance of falling be reduced by taking vitamin D, which may aid muscle function?

This study reviewed data from previous studies in which falling was monitored and elderly participants took vitamin D (generally 800 IU) or a placebo. Analysis included 1,237 otherwise healthy people, mostly women, averaging 70 years old. The review concluded that 22 percent fewer people taking vitamin D fell than did those not taking the supplement.

Who may be affected by these findings? The elderly. The chance of falling increases as people age, with nearly half of all 80 year olds likely to fall in a given year.

Caveats: The review did not determine whether differences in physical activity affected the results.

Bottom line: People 60 or older might want to ask their doctor about vitamin D.

Find this study: April 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Learn more about other ways to reduce the risk of falling at www.mayoclinic.

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