Fall Prevention and Vitamin D in the Elderly: An Overview of the Key Role of the Non-bone Effects
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
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Preventing falls and fall-related fractures in the elderly is an objective yet to be reached. There is increasing evidence that a supplementation of vitamin D and/or of calcium may reduce the fall and fracture rates. A vitamin D-calcium supplement appears to have a high potential due to its simple application and its low cost. However, published studies have shown conflicting results as some studies failed to show any effect, while others reported a significant decrease of falls and fractures. Through a 15-year literature overview, and after a brief reminder on mechanism of falls in older adults, we reported evidences for a vitamin D action on postural adaptations - i.e., muscles and central nervous system - which may explain the decreased fall and bone fracture rates and we underlined the reasons for differences and controversies between published data. Vitamin D supplementation should thus be integrated into primary and secondary fall prevention strategies in older adults.