As falls can be devastating for older people, 1 many interventions to reduce the risk of falls in this group have been examined. Vitamin D supplementation is a strategy receiving much attention in view of its ease of administration and perceived favourable benefit-to-risk ratio.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, but is present in very few foods. It is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is made in the body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin. However, a lack of sunshine in some countries can lead to people choosing to take supplements.
A number of trials have investigated whether vitamin D supplements can prevent falls and so far, results have been mixed. While it s unclear how such supplements might reduce the risk, some health groups feel that there is enough positive evidence to recommend their use.
New Zealand scientists decided to look into this further. They assessed the findings from 20 separate trials involving almost 30,000 people.
They found that vitamin D supplements do not reduce the risk of falls by 15% or more. At a population level, this means that the supplements have a very low chance of reducing the risk.
Furthermore, the scientists from the University of Auckland were also able to predict the potential of future trials in this area. The findings from this indicate that current trials are unlikely to change these results.
The team therefore concluded that currently, there is insufficient evidence to support recommending vitamin D supplements in an attempt to reduce falls.
Vitamins will not prevent falls but having people practice squats will strengthen all the necessary muscles to help prevent these issues.