Falling is a risk factor for bone fractures among men and women aged 60 years and older.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 37.3 million falls every year that are severe enough to requiremedical attention. 1
THE DESCENT OF MAN
There are multiple factors that can increase the
chance of a fall. 2
Lower body weakness
Difficulty walking and maintaining balance
Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives and antidepressants
Foot pain and poor footwear
Home hazards and dangers
And not enough vitamin D in your system
Experts all over the world recommend vitamin D intake as an important way to help reduce the risk of a fall.
Vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of falling associated with postural instability and muscle weakness.
Scientists believe it does this by improving muscle function, strength and body balance.
The European Commission has approved a health claim for vitamin D and a reduced risk of falling: 3
“Vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of falling associated with postural instability and muscle weakness. Falling is a risk factor for bone fractures among men and women 60 years of age and older.”
The claim may be used only for food supplements which provide at least 15μg of vitamin D per daily portion. Information should be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20μg of vitamin D from all sources.
BREAKING THE CYCLE
In a report exploring fall prevention among senior citizens, WHO states: 4
“Growing evidence supports [that] dietary calcium and vitamin D intake improves bone mass among persons with low bone density and that it reduces the risk of osteoporosis and falling.
Older persons with low dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D may be at risk for falls and therefore fractures resulting from them.”
NO BONES ABOUT IT
In an article about preventing falls and fractures, the US National Institute on Aging says: 5
“Having healthy bones won't prevent a fall, but if you fall, it might prevent breaking a hip or other bone.
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong.”
There are many causes of falls in older people. Low dietary vitamin D intake is one of them.
Taking a dietary supplement is an easy way to increase vitamin D consumption, and in doing so reduce the risk of suffering a fall.