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Systematic review
Vitamin D reduces the risk of falls in older adults compared with calcium or placebo
  1. Melissa J Benton
  1. Valdosta State University, College of Nursing Valdosta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Melissa J Benton
    PhD, RN, CNS, FACSM, Valdosta State University, College of Nursing, 1500 N Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA; mjbenton{at}valdosta.edu

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Vitamin D deficiency in older adults has traditionally been of concern in relation to its role in maintaining bone mineral density. The effect of vitamin D on muscle strength and its influence on fall risk and prevention may have been underappreciated. A growing body of literature now focuses on the use of vitamin D for prevention of muscle atrophy, in particular type II muscle fibers that are associated with strength and function. Although by no means conclusive, research has now moved from initial cross-sectional analyses to interventional studies measuring changes in strength and muscle fiber size secondary to supplementation with vitamin D. This research has direct applications to fall prevention.

Effective prescription of vitamin D

Prevention of falls is of critical importance for quality of life and economic reasons. Kalyani and colleagues have provided the most inclusive meta-analysis to date …

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