The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has released new vitamin D recommendations for older adults who are at a high risk of low bone mass, poor muscle development and osteoporotic fractures.
According to a statement published in the latest issue of the journal Osteoporosis International, vitamin D supplementation can improve lower limb strength and, in turn, reduce a person’s risk of falling. The nutrient can also lessen fracture risk by helping to recover bone metabolism.
After significant research, Bess Dawson-Hughes, professor at Tufts University and lead author of the statement, recommends that healthy older adults take at least 800 to 1,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D each day.
Individuals who are at high risk, including those who are obese, have osteoporosis and limited sun exposure, should consider taking as much as 2,000 IU of the nutrient per day. The research team also noted that high risk patients should have their serum levels consistently monitored by their physician.
"The high prevalence of suboptimal levels raises the possibility that many falls and fractures can be prevented with vitamin D supplementation," said Dawson-Hughes. "This is a relatively easy public health measure that could have significant positive effects on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures."