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Thread: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    Dr Michael Greger
    March 8 2019

    We have known for more than 400 years that muscle weakness is a common presenting symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Bones aren’t the only organs that respond to vitamin D, though—muscles do, too. However, as we age, our muscles lose vitamin D receptors, perhaps helping to explain the loss in muscle strength as we age. Indeed, vitamin D status does appear to predict the decline in physical performance as we get older, with lower vitamin D levels linked to poorer performance

    Read more: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/sh...e-elderly.html

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    That makes sense. Even in my own experience, as I age, I seem more apt to trip over some inconsequential obstacle like a wrinkle in a throw rug, an uneven slate or steppingstone, an electric cord on the floor. Falls at home are one of the most common causes of these fractures. However, balance issues may also need to be addressed.
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    A simple piece of exercise equipment called a Bosu ball is said to help with improving balance. I use the one at the gym, but they are available on Amazon. The prices seem to vary widely.

    Oh, and I always do it in front of something I can immediately, securely grab on to.
    Last edited by Pattypans; 03-10-19 at 02:22 PM. Reason: First: to add a tip; second: to fix spacing

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    I too am beginning to notice my balance is not what it was. I don't trip over things any more than usual - I don't look where I'm going - but I sometimes feel a little unsteady getting out of bed.

    There was a very simple piece of equipment at the physio classes I went to last year, that anyone could make, called a balance board, but rather hard to describe. Basically a piece of wood with two semi-circular pieces of wood underneath, the flat sides attached to the board. It was quite fun to use. And yes Patty, we had to stand in front of a chair to use it.

    But I do take vitamin D - 5,000 units every other day.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    When was the last time you were tested, Julieanne? 8000 IUs/day is the recommeded maintenance dose. I check every 18 months — here the test is covered by Medicare but it's not otherwise expensive. But of course people differ.
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    I'm due for some tests soon as part of my annual care plan - free. But most doctors disagree with the recommendation you mention. They would consider it far too high.

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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    So yes, people differ. But I'll be curious to know what your current level turns out to be, if you don't mind sharing.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    As we age, we need to exercise our ankles and knees, as both play a significant role in maintaining balance. As an old martial artists, I rotate my ankles and perform deep knee bends almost everyday. When I slack off, my balance suffers.

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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    That's good to know. Every day I carry wood, up steps, in one hand or the other (in a canvas bag with handles) so I have to navigate steps, corners and a hall while carrying a load. I think this is practice for balance in old age!
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    We should remember, when dealing with Vitamin D test results, that different nations in the world use different units of measurement for serum Vitamin D levels. One would need to use a conversion equation to compare results from one region to another.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    ...Every day I carry wood, up steps, in one hand or the other (in a canvas bag with handles) so I have to navigate steps, corners and a hall while carrying a load.......
    Given your very active lifestyle, I don't think you have anything to be concerned about. Compared to your daily activity, I feel like an old, sedentary man. Lol.

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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    Believe me, it's intermittent! Today I surprised myself by lifting a 5 gallon bucket of water from chest height to the ground. Oh, yes, I spilled some. Not a lot. Collecting snow melt off the roof for doing dishes, flushing the loo etc.

    And yes, Maurya, if Julie shares her score I hope I don't have to go through contortions to convert it!
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    Default Re: Should Vitamin D Supplements Be Taken To Prevent Falls In The Elderly?

    You won't - I have had to convert it myself before now. Google makes it easy.

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