Alternative Health Blog
Vitamin D Deficiency in the Elderly
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective study involving subjects 60 years of age and older, supplementation with calcium plus vitamin D (cholecalciferol, 150,000 IU, once/month for the first 2 months followed by 90,000 IU/month for the next 4 months) was found to be significantly more effective in improving 25(OH)D levels and lower limb muscle strength, as compared to subjects taking calcium plus a monthly placebo. Specifically, subjects who received vitamin D treatment were found to have a 16.4% improvement in strength of hip flexors and a 24.6% improvement in strength of knee extensors. The authors conclude, “The suggested cholecalciferol supplementation was safe and efficient in enhancing 25(OH)D levels and lower limb muscle strength in the elderly, in the absence of any regular physical exercise practice.”
Reference: “Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Lower Limb Muscle Strength in Institutionalized Older People Independently of Regular Physical Activity: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial,” Moreira-Pfrimer LD, Pedrosa MA, et al, Ann Nutr Metab, 2009; 54(4): 291-300. (Address: Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo/UNIFESP, São Paulo, Brazil).